Bloomberg TV India, India TV terminate TAM services

Mumbai: India TV and Bloomberg TV India announced Monday that they will stop subscribing to data from TAM Media Research Pvt. Ltd , adding to the list of broadcasters that have done so because of concerns that the ratings produced by it didn’t accurately reflect viewership.

Bloomberg TV India has asked TAM to stop reporting its viewership data. There were several reasons that led to the decision, Bloomberg TV India president Sriram Kilambi said in a release that highlighted, among other things, what he called a flaw in the data-collection system. Mint has a content-sharing tie-up with Bloomberg TV India.

“One of the key issues is that all people meters that map the viewership trends are placed in the residences of viewers, whereas the primary viewership of a business news channel like Bloomberg TV India is during working hours, i.e., from the office,” Kilambi said.

“Furthermore, our analysis of TAM numbers indicate that the sample size of people viewing business news is too small to be insightful. Therefore, the data that is generated by TAM does not represent the facts. It is better that they do not report data at all rather than report data that is insufficient and incomplete,” he said. The channel had raised its concerns over the methodology last year.

Vinod Kapri, managing editor of India TV, confirmed that the company had stopped subscribing to TAM data. Over the last week, TAM, a joint venture between Nielsen (India) Pvt. Ltd and Kantar Market Research, has been under considerable pressure as some key broadcasters have stopped subscribing to its ratings data.

The broadcasters include Multi Screen Media Pvt. Ltd that operates the Sony, Max, Sab and Pix channels; Times Global Broadcasting Co. Ltd, which runs Times Now and ET Now; NDTV Ltd; Star India Pvt. Ltd that runs more than 30 channels; Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd, which also has over 30 channels; TV 18 Broadcast Ltd, which runs CNBC, CNN IBN, IBN Lokmat; and Viacom 18 Media Pvt. Ltd, which runs Colors, MTV and VH1.

The research agency has, however, received some support from advertisers. Both the Indian Society of Advertisers (ISA), which represents companies that buy significant amount of advertising space and air time, and the Advertising Agencies Association of India maintained that the TAM ratings formed the basis on which they buy time and space and, therefore, need to be considered, in the absence of any other rating information.

A new rating system under Broadcast Audience Research Council, the body being set up by broadcasters at the behest of the government, will take another year or so to be operational.
L.V. Krishnan, chief executive officer, TAM Media, declined to comment on the developments.

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