Digitisation: Consensus eludes broadcasters and advertisers on suspension of ratings

MUMBAI: Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF), Advertising Agencies Association of India (AAAI) and Indian Society of Advertisers (ISA) on Monday could not arrive at a consensus on the issue of suspension of television ratings from the four metros after the compulsory shift to digitisation from 1 November.

The meeting between the three industry bodies and TAM Media Research dragged on for about four hours in the Zee office from the evening hours but no agreement could be thrashed out at the end as it involves commercial interests that tend to differ. The discussions centred around the pros and cons of suspension of TAM ratings that decide on advertising fortunes of television shows and channels.

An industry source told that the meeting was inconclusive but a decision on the issue would certainly be announced on Tuesday.

Another source said the broadcasters are asking for eight weeks of non reporting of television viewership data by ratings agency TAM. Advertising bodies are not agreeable but both parties would on Tuesday come to a settlement on the period for non reporting of data. Another area of contention is whether TAM should monitor the data at all while non reporting the findings to the industry and media.

"It looks like the advertising bodies are agreeable to non reporting of data. It is the period that is still being debated. A joint announcement will be made tomorrow," the source added.

The government has suggested to TAM to stop releasing television ratings from the four metros for a short period till the teething problems arising from the switchover to digital delivery of television channels from 1 November are resolved.

The broadcasters are in agreement with the government suggestion but the advertisers and the advertising agencies have expressed reservations.

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