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Pubcaster to discuss possible legal action against TAM

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NEW DELHI: Prasar Bharati, which has the largest reach terrestrially through local cable operators and around 20 per cent of the market through various DTH platforms, is also piqued by the way TAM has been side-stepping Doordarshan in the television ratings.

Encouragd by NDTV?s lawsuit, Prasar Bharati is exploring legal options against TAM. Prasar Bharati chief executive officer Jawahar Sircar told indiantelevision.com that it was astonishing that TAM had never attempted to give importance to capturing DD?s viewership with greater details despite it being the largest broadcaster and the fact that every platform has to mandatorily show its channels.

Sircar said that the pubcaster was also considering taking legal action against TAM and the action in this regard will be finalised in the meeting of the Prasar Bharati Board on 6 August afternoon.

The pubcaster was also in discussions with its legal counsel and their view would be placed before the Board, he added.

The issue has been raised regularly by the pubcaster with both the Ministry and the Parliamentary Standing Committee. In fact, with TAM covering a very small number of cities and towns, 62 million of 112 million TV homes were outside the ambit of television audience measurement ratings as they were in rural areas.

The action by Prasar Bharati comes close on the heels of the case filed by NDTV in a New York court against The Nielsen Co, a global research and information firm, and Kantar Media Research, the owners of TAM Media in this regard.

Doordarshan with a reach of 92 per cent in the country through 1415 transmitters has a terrestrial reach to around 25 million viewers, apart from those getting the feed through the DTH and other platforms. In fact, Sircar claimed that DD Direct Plus is reaching out to another ten million viewers, thus taking the direct reach to 35 million.

It has 37 channels including DD Bharati and DD National besides four allied channels like Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha TV.

The commercial revenue have been adversely affected because of being totally ignored by TAM which only wants to cater to private channels.

Doordarshan earned just Rs 7.94 billion - a little over half the projection of Rs 12 billion – during 2011-12 through commercial means.

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