The Competition Commission of India on Friday has found prima facie material against India’s biggest television audience rating system TAM India of not presenting clear picture on what viewers like to watch on television and had asked its investigation wing to initiate a probe.
The commission issued the direction after hearing the petitioner national broadcaster Prasar Bharati and the respondents Tam India Research Limited, a joint venture of Nielsen (India) Private Limited and Kantar Market Research.
Tam India told CCI that it has installed 8,000 people meters to record audience choice of programme in cities with population of one lakh and above. There is not even a single people’s meter in rural India, TAM admitted before CCI.
“The sample size represented is very minuscule and narrow statistical base, keeping in view 120 million people watch television in India,” the CCI said in its order and added that rural audience has been completely ignored. “It is apparent that TAM was not displaying true picture regarding TRP of Doordarshan, which has large presence in rural areas,” the commission said.
The CCI also said that within the television industry about 34 % of revenue comes from advertisements and TRP was the basic criterion that indicated the popularity of the programme.
“The rating generated by TAM has great bearing on advertisement revenue of a channel. In such a situation any abuse of the dominant position by TAM can have adverse consequences for broadcasters besides affecting the interests of the consumers,” the commission said, while stating that prima facie TAM was indulging in practice of denial of advertisement market.