With most of the major broadcasters and media agencies pulling out of TAM, the “ratings dark” period for the television broadcast industry effectively begins from 1st April, and will continue till the new ratings system by BARC India is officially launched sometime towards the end of April.
TAM India CEO LV Krishnan however said that the remaining subscribers will continue to receive the ratings data like before. He also added that TAM would be collating and putting out ratings data for all channels.
Senior members of the broadcasting industry and media agencies clarified that “it doesn’t matter whether TAM collates the ratings data because, if there are no users, it is as good as being of no use”.
The CEO of a leading media agency, when asked how media buying would take place during the ratings dark period, explained that, during informal meetings, a formula had been worked out by agencies on the basis of which “historical data will be extrapolated”.
During last month major agencies including GroupM, IPG, Dentsu Aegis Network and Madison and broadcasters such as Star India, Zee, Discovery, India TV and NDTV had sent termination notices to TAM w.e.f. from March 31, 2015. It is also learnt that Network18, Viacom18 and MSM (Sony channels) have not extended their existing contract with TAM that ended yesterday.
Since then, more media agencies and broadcasters had sent in their subscription termination letters to TAM India. Major news channels including TV Today (Aaj Tak, Headlines Today, Dilli Aaj Tak, and Tej), MCCS (ABP News, ABP Ananda and ABP Majha) have also joined the bandwagon following the advisory by News Broadcasters Association. IBN18 (CNN-IBN, IBN7, IBN Lokmat, CNBC-TV18), NDTV Group, Zee Media had already opted out of TAM.
However, it is also gathered that some channels which are sceptical about the new BARC rating regime, have decided to continue with TAM for a couple of months.