NEWS24 June 2010

Multichoice readies new viewer panel with TNS Research Surveys

Middle East and Africa New business

SOUTH AFRICA— Pay-TV company Multichoice is working with TNS Research Surveys on a viewer panel which uses return path data from digital satellite set-top boxes to monitor TV watching habits.

TNS is looking to recruit approximately 4,000 households from among Multichoice’s DStv subscriber base, with each kitted out with a new decoder to enable TV tuning information to be recorded, stored and sent back to the agency via a modem for analysis.

According to a Multichoice statement: “The initial phase [of the rollout] will see 2,000 Single and XtraView reporting households with the intention of further increasing this with additional PVR households later in 2010 and HD measurement in 2011. The external launch of the data is planned for mid-July of 2010.”

The deal follows on from TNS’s previous work with Multichoice’s sales house, Oracle Airtime Sales, which contracted with TNS in 2007 to collect set-top box data from a smaller panel of Multichoice customers.

DStv-i has been modelled on the BSkyB ‘Skyview’ panel, the Sky New Zealand AMS panel and the DirectTV panel in the US; all operated by TNS.