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NDTV lawsuit: Govt may investigate TAM

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NEW DELHI: The NDTV lawsuit in New York against TAM Media has spurred the government, which has for some time been closely studying the methodology for TAM ratings, into action to consider launching a probe into the alleged fudging charges after several complaints from broadcasters.

The government had earlier this year told Parliament that BARC (Broadcast Audience Research Council) would issue its first report by July 2013, but this does not seem possible at present, a senior Prasar Bharati official told Indiantelevision.com.

Star India CEO and IBF (Indian Broadcasting Foundation) president Uday Shankar has blamed the AAAI (Advertising Agencies Association of India) and ISA (Indian Society of Advertisers) for slowing down the progress of BARC. In March 2012, BARC was officially formed with IBF having 60 per cent stake in the new entity and AAAI and ISA equally holding the balance.

The official blamed the current television ratings system for not being able to capture Doordarshan‘s audiences in its correct light, despite the pubcaster enjoying the largest reach in the country.

NDTV sought damages of $810 million as compensation for loss in revenues suffered over the years and $580 million for negligence by Nielsen and Kantar officials, the owners of Tam.

The report by Amit Mitra Committee on setting up BARC came about 18 months ago. The committee had felt self-regulation was the best way forward for the broadcasting industry. It had cautioned that failure on the part of the industry to meet defined timelines, the government may be left with no option but to step in.

Also read:

NDTV lawsuit may trigger Govt action on BARC

NDTV sues TAM, Nielsen for manipulation of data

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