GroupM, IPG Mediabrands and Dentsu Aegis Network have sent termination notices to TAM India. Among broadcasters, Star, Zee, Discovery, Star Sports, India TV and NDTV have sent termination notices
BestMediaInfo Bureau | Delhi | March 9, 2015
The die is firmly cast. With BARC all set to formally launch its much-awaited television audience measurement system sometime next month, and the AAAI’s February 27, 2015 letter to agencies asking them to move to the new system, broadcasters and media agencies have begun terminating their subscriptions with TAM.
As of this morning, according to information culled from informed sources, GroupM, IPG Mediabrands and Dentsu Aegis Network have already sent letters to TAM India informing them that they are either not extending their subscription after the March 31, 2015 in case their current subscription is expiring on that date or terminating their subscription with the stipulated one-month notice period in case their subscription runs till December 31, 2015.
It is learnt that Madison Group has also sent its termination letter to TAM, though it could not be confirmed at the time of filing this report.
Ashish Bhasin, Chairman and CEO South Asia, Dentsu Aegis Network, when contacted, said, “There is nothing unusual about this. All stakeholders, including the media agencies, have invested in the new BARC system, and it is natural that we should move to this audience measurement system. I am sure others will soon follow.”
Among broadcasters, it is confirmed through the informed sources that Star India, Zee, Discovery India, Star Sports, India TV and NDTV India have sent subscription termination letters to TAM. It is learnt that Multi Screen Media (Sony channels) has also sent a letter to TAM though it could not be confirmed directly from the channel at the time of filing this report.
The subscriptions of Viacom18 and TV18 expire on March 31, 2015. Though the two networks have not said anything yet, it is gathered that they have decided not to extend their subscriptions.
Sudhanshu Vats, Group CEO, Viacom18 Media Group, told BestMediaInfo.com in an interview last week: “BARC is a joint industry body, and we are part of the industry. We basically believe that BARC will have a more accurate and better measurement. And basically, our preference would be to go with the measurement which is more robust, transparent and accurate. We are still evaluating our decision. Come April 2015, we will go with one measurement.”
Highly placed sources in Star India have informed that “there is an internal plan to not even compare both the ratings after BARC goes live”.
The AAAI letter sent out by its President, MG Parameswaran, said: “We are happy to inform you that we expect BARC to bring out the audience measurement weekly data from end of April 2015. As we have been reporting to you periodically through our minutes of the EC meetings, as a stakeholder in BARC, AAAI has been very active in this joint industry initiative and has invested substantial monies and resources to ensure that the new measurement is best-in-class and significantly superior to any existing measurement system. Hence, as members of AAAI, we would urge you to subscribe to the BARC measurement studies when it comes up soon. Simultaneously, business prudence would require that you review and close off on any of your existing arrangements.”