In a first-of-its-kind move, broadcasters, advertisers and TAM Media, India?s only TV ratings agency, have decided to suspend generation of all data on television rating points (TRP) for the next two months ? between October 7 and December 8.
The move has been initiated by broadcasters and advertisers to ensure smooth transition from analogue to digital platform.
TRP data is the currency for measuring the reach and popularity of television content that in turn determines the flow of R10,000-crore advertising money generated on television.
?TAM media, in consensus with Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF), Advertising Agencies Association of India (AAAI) and Indian Society of Advertisers (ISA) has decided to suspended TRP data across all genres. The data will be released from December 19 as usual,? an official statement from IBF said.
The government has made it mandatory for all cable homes across Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai to own a digital set-top box in order to access digital cable services from November 1. The second phase, in 38 other cities, ushers in from April 1 and the sunset date for digitisation to be completed in the rest of India is December 31, 2015.
According to IBF, the industry is of the view that during the transition there could have been discrepancies in TAM?s reporting of data, which could have had serious implications, particularly for broadcasters in terms of finance and credibility. ?The deferment of release of data during the ?switch over? will ensure that TAM and all stakeholders have provided extended time for the on-ground situation to stabilise into a digital phase,? it said and added that this move will help in ensuring that users take a longer-term view of the 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 will include data measured from December 9,? the statement said.
Further, TAM data that has been suspended from October 7 to December 8, 2012, will be validated by a panel of experts from Nielsen/Kantar and a representative each of the board of IBF, AAAI and ISA to ensure quality, consistency and integrity of processes and data, prior to release.
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.