NEWS3 August 2012

Govt ‘to probe TV ratings fraud allegations’ – report

Asia Pacific Government

INDIAN— Reports from India suggest the government is preparing to investigate the fraud allegations levelled against TV ratings supplier TAM Media Research.

The Economic Times cites an unnamed official in the Information and Broadcasting Ministry as saying, “We will soon take some action.”

TAM and its joint owners Kantar and Nielsen are being sued in a US court by the TV news network NDTV over allegations that viewership data in India has been manipulated “in favour of channels that are willing to covertly provide monetary inducements/payments/bribes to TAM officials”.

The companies have so far declined to comment.

If the government does initiate a probe, it won’t be the first time that politicians have considered the state of the country’s TV audience measurement industry.

In 2011 a government-commissioned review called for broadcasters, advertisers and ad agencies to fund an expansion of audience measurement panels, calling the size of existing ones “grossly inadequate”, while in 2008 the Telecoms Regulatory Authority of India investigated complaints from the Information and Broadcasting Ministry about measurement deficiencies, including small sample sizes.