Star trashes survey by on air time inventories

A study done by online media exchange and tomtommed by it in the press has been rubbished by Star India. The study had claimed that a large chunk of advertising inventory on satellite channels goes underutilised.

Says Star India executive vice-president Raj Nayak: "There are tremendous anomalies in the study. Only a channel can know what inventories it has. Analysis of data can tell you how much inventory is utilised and not under-utilised. Each channel has a different way of dealing with commercial time. We have a strict limitation of taking on only 10 minutes commercials for an hour of telecast. (This is a statutory requirement as per the Hong Kong government's broadcasting code. Star is uplinked from Hong Kong) DD takes maybe 20 minutes, and even more - there is no limit with DD. Even Zee TV took on so much advertising for Miss World that they spread it over five and a half hours. Ditto with Sony. So how can any one tell for sure?"

The exchange4media study, reportedly based on the Media Monitoring Report by Consumer Opinion and Future Trends (COFT) for a four-week period in September 2000, had claimed that etc channel had utilised its inventory to the maximum at about 90 per cent as compared to 41 other television channels beaming on prime time between 7 and 11 PM

The other channels which have been analysed include: Sony at 77 per cent, DD Metro and Zee News at 75 per cent, Set Max and Zee TV at 73 per cent, Raj TV at 71 per cent, Asianet and Zee Cinema at 70 per cent, Alpha Marathi at 68 per cent, Sun TV 67 per cent, CNBC at 66 per cent and Star Plus at 63 per cent.

Additionally, the survey had said that inventory utilisation suffered more in the afternoon band between 12 noon and 4:30 pm, with DD National ranking as the best at 76 per cent, followed by Zee TV at 73 per cent, CNBC at 66 per cent and Sony at 63 per cent.

Nayak questions how any analysis can be done on seven-month-old data in a dynamic industry such as television where changes are taking place every second. "It's a piece of rubbish," says a Star India source.

Officials from were not available for comment as this story was being uploaded. A reaction is awaited.

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