IBF, TAM and Intam come to an agreement on ratings

It was a meeting that was most talked about - one that would help smoothen, ease and clear some of the issues relating to viewership ratings. The Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF) - the representative body of the satellite television industry - the research agencies were supposed to attend and come to some resolution. After all you can't continually keep badmouthing a system which measures how viewers are responding to your programmes.

The meeting happened today. Among those who attended included the research agencies' representatives, Sony Entertainment Television CEO Kunal Dasgupta, SABe TV vice-chairman and MD Markand Adhikari, ESPN India MD Manu Sawhney, Star TV CEO Peter Mukerjea, Zee TV broadcasting CEO Sandeep Goyal, Discovery chief Deepak Shourie, Eenadu TV's I. Venkat, BBC's Vinod Bakshi, and Sun TV's Sharad Kumar.

And a decision was taken that nobody amongst the attendees would sing to the media. Communications around the TRP issue would be centralised with one source, the IBF.

According to sources, however, the research agencies took great pains in presenting how they planned to restore confidence in the ratings, what measures they were taking to prevent security leaks, and ensuring better representation of viewers on the sample.

Sources reveal that broadcasters and the research agencies agreed on a few issues. Thirty per cent of the panel in each city would be renewed annually - so that within three years one will have a totally new panel. This apart, the research agencies have agreed to totally revamp their panels.

Hear out IBF executive director Bhuvan Lall for the official line: "Tam and Intam presented their findings around the TRP affair. Genuine concern was expressed about the leakages which have to be investigated. They have agreed to revamp the panels in four to six weeks in conjunction with the other stakeholders. The systems will be strengthened."

Stay tuned for further updates.

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