NEWS16 March 2010

UAE gets green light for people meter TV measurement

Middle East and Africa Technology

UAE— Ministers have given the National Media Council the go-ahead to launch a people meter-based TV audience measurement service in the United Arab Emirates.

The launch of a people meter system has long been discussed in the UAE, and last year Capgemini was appointed by the National Media Council to look at international best practices, assess the local market and recommend what sort of system would best suit the country.

Local newspaper The National reports that Capgemini’s work is now finished and that the firm has advised that the UAE introduces a system similar to Singapore’s, which has a higher sample size than other countries and is run by TNS.

The National Media Council’s director general, Ibrahim al Abed, was quoted as saying: “We are planning to have the project starting soon. There will be an operator, and we want to make sure that all stakeholders, whether they are TV stations, advertisers or advertising companies, are involved in it. Our purpose is to have, like other countries, people meters that will give accurate data about the preferences of the audience.”

In late 2008, Nielsen held a workshop in the country to showcase the advantages of a people meter-based system over the diary and CATI systems that are currently used in the country. At the time, Piyush Mather – Nielsen’s then regional managing director in the region – told Research that the industry in UAE had talked about introducing people meters for “several years” but would not be drawn into confirming whether the firm would bid for any potential new contract.

The National Media Council could not be reached at the time of going to press.