NEWS17 February 2014

Delhi High Court hits pause on TV ratings restrictions

Asia Pacific Legal News

INDIA — TAM India has secured a temporary reprieve from new TV ratings guidelines that threaten to prevent it from publishing audience data.


Without the reprieve, TAM India would have fallen foul of a restriction in the guidelines that prevents any cross-holdings of 10% or more between rating agencies and broadcasters, advertisers or advertising agencies.

TAM India is a joint venture between Nielsen and Kantar – but Kantar’s parent company WPP also owns a substantial number of advertising firms.

Following an appeal by Kantar, the Delhi High Court ordered a stay on the relevant sections of the guidelines, although it has directed TAM to publish a list of affiliated advertising companies, and the “significant” clients of those companies, on its website within two weeks.

The disputed TV ratings guidelines were adopted by the government in January. They set a number of rules for companies wishing to measure TV audiences – including a minimum sample size of 20,000 homes, rising by 10,000 each year until the panel reaches 50,000 homes.

Research companies wishing to carry out TV ratings work also have to register with the Indian Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB).

The High Court stay will remain in force until a new hearing on 6 March.