NEWS16 October 2009

TNS trumps AGB Nielsen in race for Turkish TV ratings contract

Europe New business

TURKEY— TNS has won a four-year contract to run Turkey’s TV audience measurement system, seeing off incumbent supplier AGB Nielsen Media Research.

TNS will establish a 3,500 household panel, with each home fitted with the 5000 Series Modular PeopleMeter. The panel will begin reporting data from 2011 and TNS’s InfoSys software will be used for analysis.

In a statement, AGB Nielsen’s Turkey MD Craig Johnson said the firm was “naturally disappointed” to lose the contract, but vowed to “continue to work hard to deliver high quality data and service” until the hand-over date.

Speaking to Research, he said the decision of TIAK – the joint industry committee responsible for awarding the contract – was not a response to allegations that AGB’s panel had been tampered with.

Earlier this year, panel members in the town of Izmir reported being offered money to change their viewing habits, prompting AGB Nielsen and TIAK to ask local prosecutors to investigate the matter.

Johnson said the case was still in the hands of prosecutors and that no charges had yet been brought against any individuals or companies in connection with the alleged bribery attempts.

AGB Nielsen seems intent on remaining active in the Turkish market once TNS takes over the TIAK contract. In his statement, Johnson said: “With the rapid pace of media growth here in Turkey and emerging new technologies such as Digital Terrestrial IPTV and 3G upon us, AGB Nielsen is well positioned to provide services beyond our current contract.

He added: “We look forward to discussing future media research opportunities with current clients and the wider Turkish media market.”

The loss of the TIAK contract to TNS is a further blow to AGB Nielsen, having been beaten by its rival to the UK TV measurement contract in a competitive tender two year ago. TNS takes over from AGB Nielsen as the official UK ratings supplier next year.

Speaking today, TNS Media Research’s global business development director Keld Nielsen said: “This latest success showcases TNS’s ability to combine our global audience measurement expertise with the media research skills of our local teams.”