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IBF, ISA, AAAI meeting on TAM data postponed to October 15

The meeting was scheduled to be held in Mumbai today to arrive at a consensus on ceasing the publication of TAM data during the period of transition to full digitisation in the four metros. Indications are that TAM will have to fall in line

BestMediaInfo Bureau | Delhi | October 11, 2012

The meeting of the Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF), Indian Society of Advertisers (ISA) and AAAI (Advertising Agencies Association of India) scheduled to be held in Mumbai today to arrive at a consensus on ceasing the publication of TAM data during the period of transition to full digitisation in the four metro cities of Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai has been called off. The meeting has now been rescheduled for Monday, October 15, 2012.

The reason for cancellation of the meeting is that a number of representatives of the three bodies were not available today.

From indications available from within the broadcast industry, TAM is likely to be prevailed upon to cease publishing of weekly ratings data during the transition period as the data are likely to be severely skewed when the industry moves towards the digital regime in the four metros. Going by what a cross-section of broadcast industry representatives claim off the record, TAM is most likely to fall in line.

The broadcast industry is apprehensive that in view of TAM’s sample size (insufficient number of people-meters), data from the four biggest markets can lead to inaccurate and skewed readership figures at a time when the digitisation process is underway. It is this “situation of chaos” that they are keen to avoid.

Lending urgency to the issue is the fact that the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting is reportedly strongly in favour of TAM data not being published during this period.

TAM is already under immense pressure owing to the lawsuit filed by NDTV in the New York Supreme Court charging it of corruption and manipulation at the field level at the time of collection of data.

Adding grist to the mill of NDTV’s charges, Bloomberg TV India today has also come out with a statement strongly recommending that TAM should revamp its reporting processes and practices for niche channels. The current processes are resulting in loss of reputation and advertising revenues for the channel.

It may be recalled that soon after the news of NDTV’s lawsuit, the News Broadcasters Association (NBA) had also shot off a letter on August 10, 2012 to Ambika Soni, Minister for Information & Broadcasting, regarding the television viewership rating system of TAM and suggesting certain actions to be taken in resolving the malaise to protect the industry and its stakeholders’ interests.

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