Prasar Bharati to move CCI against TAM

NEW DELHI: Prasar Bharati, which had been asked by the Information and Broadcasting Ministry to consider action against TAM, is expected to file a petition before the Competition Commission of India within the next few days.

Doordarshan Director General Tripurari Sharan told that the final draft was prepared yesterday and it would now be cleared by legal counsel before filing.

Earlier, Prasar Bharati chief executive officer Jawhar Sircar had told that it was astonishing that TAM had been side-stepping Doordarshan, which has the largest reach terrestrially through local cable operators and around 20 per cent of the market through various DTH platforms.

The Prasar Bharati Board had taken up the matter in its meeting on 6 August and given the go-ahead to DD to proceed with the matter.

The Ministry had written a letter to TAM and its international partner Nielsen earlier, wanting to know the steps taken to improve the television rating measurement system and ordering for a third party audit to be conducted with an increased sample size. The Ministry has asked them to respond within 15 days on allegations of viewership manipulation.

The Ministry had also written to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India for suggestions on an accreditation mechanism for TV ratings in India to curb the monopoly and asked it to frame guidelines in context to cross holdings in companies that are involved in TV ratings system in India.

Trai had on 19 August 2008 issued Recommendations on the Policy Guidelines and Operational issues for Television Audience Measurement Television Rating Points (TRPs) suggesting Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC), a suggestion which was later endorsed by the Amit Mitra Committee.

The action by Prasar Bharati comes close on the heels of the case filed by NDTV in a New York court against TAM, Nielsen, Kantar and WPP.

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