Television

"We hope to reach a mature solution on the TAM ratings issue"

http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/smartcrop_800x800/public/images/tv-images/2015/08/19/Untitled-1_27.jpg?itok=Qf599FFM

There are two kinds of individuals out there. Those, who lead their lives on their own terms and others, who lead their lives according to the terms set by the rest of the world. And then there is Sam Balsara, who creates benchmarks for the rest through his feisty attitude!



Rated as amongst the top media professionals in the world, MadisonWorld chairman & managing director Sam Balsara is no stranger to a challenging situation. He is known to speak his mind without mincing his words. The media vet has worn many hats in various industry associations and committees over his very long career, which began at Sarabhai?s in the late sixties, early seventies and ended with him setting up Madison 25 years ago.



Here, in an exclusive interview, Balsara opens up on the heated issue of Broadcasters v/s TAM Media. Who else can give us a better perspective than the advertising genius himself. Sit back, read and enjoy his engaging responses from this free wheeling chat indiantelevision.com had with him.



Excerpts:

What is your take on Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF) members deciding to discontinue subscribing to TV ratings provider TAM?



It is very clear ratings are very important not just for advertisers and agencies alone, but for the whole industry which includes broadcasters who have worked so hard to built the industry to Rs 12,000 crore. If there are no ratings the confidence in TV advertising will go down.



Take a look at radio and out of home; they have no robust measurement system, hence they account for just five per cent of the media spends. Television does have a robust measurement systems and it accounts for a sizeable 45 per cent.



You don?t have to throw the baby out with the bathwater. If there is something wrong, you fix it. We have to remember that the TV ratings that come out every week are a sample not a census. At times, if it does not do justice, you don?t shut it down. The long term solution is definitely BARC...till then we have to have TAM.



But then how do you address the problems that the IBF and the government has with the ratings?



Let the IBF put out a paper on what their view is on what is wrong with the ratings methodology and what needs fixing. We can give our view on what can be done or should be. The answer is not stopping a rating system.



Why do you say that?

Stopping a ratings system would hurt the broadcast leaders in their respective individual genres, they would lose their leadership perception and this would hurt them. I think it is a very unwise decision.



Let the IBF put out a paper on what their view is on what is wrong with the ratings methodology and what needs fixing. We can give our view on what can be done or should be. The answer is not stopping a rating system.

 

Let?s say the TAM meltdown continues and you don?t have ratings, is historical data a valid barometer for buying TV advertising time?

Historical data around TV viewership is not an option and is unacceptable to the buyer. I would not work with historical data for buying. If I am buying IPL this year, why should I use last year?s data? Why should and how can I use historical data for how a serial is performing? We know that viewership habits move around.



Then what is the solution?

If there is something seriously wrong with TAM's data, methodology, we should sit together, highlight the problems, diagnose the imperfections and come up with answers. We need to give a patient hearing to each other as to why it?s going wrong too!



I am aware that TV ratings have been going down because of the rejig of the sample, digitisation and also LC1. But every time you go for a change in a changing environment, the findings are also going to change.

 

But the dropping ratings are hurting broadcasters and they are saying how is that possible when we are paying for the measurement?

That brings us to the fundamental question: should media owners pay for the ratings system? Maybe you are right! Media owners should not be involved in media measurement. But the fact is that no media owner has found fault with the ratings system when they are at No 1.



But Star India which is the leader in the GEC space is also likely to discontinue its TAM subscription?



Hmmm. The only thing I have to say is that if there is no viewership data, the TV industry is going to suffer.

 

Is making the advertiser/ad agency pay for the data a solution?

As far as the advertising industry is concerned, we don?t really care who pays for the data, we are concerned that we get the data. We are absolutely certain that we need the ratings.



I am aware that TV ratings have been going down because of the rejig of the sample, digitisation and also LC1. But every time you go for a change in a changing environment, the findings are also going to change.

 

What if broadcasters continue to refuse to accept TAM as the currency and want to do transactions for TV adverts with agencies and advertisers?

For a deal to take place, each seller has to make something available to the buyer and the latter has to see value in it to pay for it. Both parties have an objective and as long as it is met a deal happens. You see if Dove is priced at Rs 30, and you see merit in buying it you will pay for it, if you don?t, you won?t. Similarly with us, we need a measurement metric before we buy media.

 

The IBF seems to be pushing the agenda on various fronts. For instance, in the case of net billings it was the IBF which had its way by forcing the advertising industry to accept net billings? Will it do so even in TAM?s case?

There is no question of IBF having its way. The AAAI, ISA and the IBF found a mutually acceptable solution. Some of our full service advertising agency members wanted the 15 per cent mention to be in the bills and we got that in. It was a mature solution that met the needs of all concerned. We similarly hope to reach a mature solution on the TAM ratings situation too.

Latest Reads

http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/10/15/discovery.jpg?itok=6Fa3Bavl
Running Wild with Bear Grylls’ on Discovery channel gets extraordinary traction from advertisers

The premiere of new series Running Wild with Bear Grylls on Discovery and Discovery World HD

Television TV Channels Factual @ Discovery
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/10/15/colors.jpg?itok=TXA_pJ9H
Woh Talent Hi Kya Jo Kisi Ke Kaam Na Aaye; COLORS Announces the Launch of India’s Got Talent

Don’t let talent go to waste advocates COLORS’ flagship reality show – Maruti Suzuki Arena presents India’s Got Talent powered by Vaseline and Frooti as it returns to wow viewers with some mind-boggling acts in its eighth edition.

Television TV Channels GECs
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/10/15/Lizol.jpg?itok=lICakAZ0
Lizol tops chart; P&G makes comeback in BARC week 40

The Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) India has released its data for last week’s top advertisers and brands between 29 September-5 October 2018. The data is a reflection of top 10 advertiser and brands across genre on Indian television (U+R) : 2+ Individuals.

Television TV Channels Viewership
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/10/15/pkd.jpg?itok=F8PRMMYX
Star India’s PKL draws higher sponsorship revenues in season 6

The Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) auctions saw six players command over a crore, offering further proof of the property’s rising popularity in terms of viewership and advertising interest. If we look at the viewership, the live telecast of PKL season 5 garnered 1.6 billion impressions with a target...

Television TV Channels Sports
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/10/15/mix.jpg?itok=pru8JVNF
Zee Keralam to launch in Q3 FY19

Though the general notion has been that Hindi GECs are the most watched shows across the nation, the truth is far from that. Over time, broadcasters have realised that if they want to rule India, they must cater to the various languages.

Television TV Channels Regional
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/10/13/aaj-tak.jpg?itok=lowRXhHz
Aaj Tak maintains lead across every Hindi news genre in BARC week 40

Republic TV continues to lead the English news genre as per All India BARC data week 40.

Television TV Channels Viewership
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/10/13/regional.jpg?itok=qoFd2a51
Bengali, Kannada markets maintain status quo in BARC week 40

No changes were observed in the Bengali and Kannada markets in BARC data week 40.

Television TV Channels Viewership
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/10/12/flix.jpg?itok=l05t4_Ym
&flix brings to you the story of unsung heroes of the first Christmas with the Flix First premiere of ‘The Star’, this Sunday!

Premiering under the Flix First programming block on &flix, this animated musical comedy is all about an animal ‘toon’ with a Christmas message.

Television TV Channels Factual @ Discovery
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2018/10/12/firstpost.jpg?itok=5cFCV-Ji
Teejay Sidhu to Host Firstpost’s 9 Months Season 3 – A GroundbreAzim Lalani,

Firstpost’s 9 Months, a successful web-series and India’s one-of-its-kind comprehensive show on parenting and childcare promises to be bigger, better and more engaging in its third season.

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories