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Industry bodies rule out blackout of TAM data in next phase of digitisation was the first to break the news early yesterday morning of TAM ratings being suspended for 9 weeks. IBF came out with an official statement late last evening on the decision

BestMediaInfo Bureau | Delhi | October 18, 2012

Building on a previous agreement between TAM and Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF) and with consensus of Advertising Agencies Association of India (AAAI) and Indian Society of Advertisers (ISA), Television Audience Measurement (TAM) data have been suspended across all genres across the country. The data will be released from December 19, 2012, as usual practice.

As per law, cable digitisation is mandatory from November 1, 2012 in New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai. Subsequently, in the second phase it will become mandatory in 38 other cities by April 1, 2013. The sunset date for digitisation is December 31, 2015, when it is to be completed in the rest of India.

The broadcast industry is of the view that during the transition process from analogue signals to digital environment, there could have been discrepancies in TAM’s reporting of data, which could have had serious implications, particularly for the broadcasters, not only in terms of finance but also in terms of credibility.

The deferment of release of data during the ‘switchover’ will ensure that TAM and all stakeholders have provided extended time for the on-ground situation to stabilise into a digital phase. This will help in ensuring the users take a longer-term view of data for decision-making. TAM has all its systems in place to ensure accurate data. TAM will anyway be communicating the steps it is taking in this regard to all stakeholders. All stakeholders are unanimous that consistency, quality and integrity of the data must be maintained.

TAM data release on December 19, 2012, will include data measured from December 9, 2012. Further, TAM data which has been suspended from October 7 to December 8, 2012, will be curetted and validated by a panel of experts from Nielsen/Kantar and a representative each of the boards of IBF, AAAI and ISA to ensure quality, consistency and integrity of processes and data, prior to release.

In good faith, IBF has assured the stakeholders of AAAI and ISA that it has no specific intent to requisition a similar blackout in the subsequent phases, as long as the data integrity and quality consistency is maintained, in the interest of the TV industry and its stakeholders, in subsequent phases. The learning’s from the Phase 1 should enable greater clarity in subsequent phases.

All stakeholders – TAM, AAAI, ISA and IBF – welcome digitisation and will work with the government to ensure a successful transition, beginning with Phase 1. IBF expresses its sincere gratitude to TAM, AAAI and ISA for this significant understanding and collaboration.

Also read:  Breaking News: TAM data temporarily deferred for 9 weeks starting Week 41

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