Voice from the Rooftop

Blog of Vincent Augustine D'Souza

NDTV and TRPs

NDTV has filed a suit in New York against The Nielsen of USA and Kantar Media Research, owned by WPP Plc of UK for two billion dollars for TRPs by TAM Media Research Pvt. Ltd., a joint venture company owned by Nielsen and Kantar. TAM stands for television audience measurement. TRP figures by TAM decide ad revenue. Broadcasters and advertisers buy data from TAM.

NDTV 24×7 once dominated English news. It now has competition from CNN-IBN and Times Now. NDTV Profit has competition from CNBC TV18 and ET Now. NDTV India does not have much viewership. NDTV’s film and entertainment channels failed. If NDTV TRPs have gone down there is nothing strange in it.

TAM uses 8,160 peoplemeters. NDTV wanted them to use 30,000 peoplemeters. NDTV claims they had written to TAM about aberrations in its measurement methodology and they have evidence of fiddling of peoplemeters by TAM field staff at the behest of a rival.

NDTV did not sack Barkha Dutt when her connection to a lobbyist was known. N. Ram said BBC, Financial Times or New York Times would not have tolerated such a thing. Vir Sanghvi and Prabhu Chawla lost their jobs for lobbyist connection.

NDTV’s evidence may be like the cheap sting operation they conducted when they hired a private detective agency to keep an eye on Barkha Dutt and tap her phone. NDTV’s rival can claim NDTV bribed TAM field staff to fiddle with peoplemeters.

TV channels do not question TAM when they get favourable TRPs. When TRPs are low they question the methodology and other things. It is like political parties who accept favourable opinion polls and exit polls but do not believe them when they show them as losers.

NDTV should maintain standard of programmes. It is not good when during discussion you have Breaking News and panelists are ignored. It is disgusting to telecast the interview of a woman who gatecrashed London Olympics march past and walked along Indian contingent.

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