Nielsen research firm for planned TV TRP system | Hindustan Times
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Nielsen research firm for planned TV TRP system

Global TV rating agency Nielsen, which is being sued by a private TV channel for billions of dollars for allegedly manipulating viewership data in India, is also the agency being engaged by broadcasters to conduct research for a revamped TRP measuring system.

delhi Updated: Aug 14, 2012 23:08 IST
Sanjib Kr Baruah

Global TV rating agency Nielsen, which is being sued by a private TV channel for billions of dollars for allegedly manipulating viewership data in India, is also the agency being engaged by broadcasters to conduct research for a revamped TRP measuring system.

Nielsen is already finalising the research report after conducting a 'pilot establishment survey' in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh which will be submitted after a final meeting with broadcasters, informed sources told HT.

The Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC), an industry-led self-regulatory initiative comprising broadcasters, advertisers and advertising agencies, had engaged Nielsen to conduct the research.

As of now, TAM India--a joint venture between Nielsen and Kantar Media--is the only agency that is carrying out TV audience measurement in India on the basis of meter readings installed in 8,160 households.

"A 8,160 household sample is too small for a country with 148 million TV households. The figures also depend on where these metered household are located, whether in rural or urban areas and what kind of socio economic segment comprises the sample size," a government official said of the present setup.

While there has been considerable criticism of the present mechanism of measuring TRPs, the government has also been insisting on a bigger sample that is representative of the populations of urban, rural, small towns, Jammu and Kashmir, the northeast, besides covering all TV platforms and technologies.

Last week, public broadcaster Doordarshan had also been given the go-ahead by Prasar Bharati -- the board that controls it -- to collate facts and take legal steps on the issue of misrepresentation and under-reporting of data for Doordarshan by TAM.

Even as the government is keeping a keen eye on the unfolding developments, industry players say finances are a key hurdle as a revamped TRP mechanism would involve huge costs which will have to be borne by the industry players.

An appropriate TRP mechanism is important to guide the advertising industry to act rationally act on allocating ad resources to different TV channels.

Factbox:
Total households in India: 231 million
Total TV households: 148 million
Cable or digital TV links: 126 million
Only Doordarshan households: 21 million
Ad money spent on TV: $2 billion
Sample size for TAM-Nielsen: 8160 households in 155 cities.

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