Following the Mumbai edition of the Media Research User’s Council (MRUC) meet, a similar meet was organised in the Capital on September 22 to shed light on the various inadequacies in the current TV ratings systems and to find solutions to the issue.
In today’s extremely cluttered television space it has become essential to correctly gauge the trends of TV consumers. An effort in that direction is being made by MRUC via its user body meets to work towards bringing robustness in the rating system. The meets at Mumbai and Delhi brought together agency professionals, broadcasters and advertisers on the same platform to discuss the issue.
Taking front seat as the initiator of the debate was Lynn de Souza, Member, Board of Governors, MRUC, and Director, Media Services, Lintas India. She started off by saying that the meet was not organised to play the “rate the ratings game”.
She emphasised the fact that the problem with the current peoplemeters / service providers was “in the capturing of data”. She further said that subscription and not advertising would drive revenues for TV channels according to the new business models. She added, in this new fragmented, interactive and increasingly digitised market, peoplemeters were not adequate for specialist channels and non-domestic viewing like hotels, clubs, etc.
“How many of us know that about Rs 1,000 crore of the Rs 5,000 crore that is spent on TV today is on zero rating channels?” she asked.
De Souza then invited the panelists to deliberate on the issues confronting the industry and give suggestions on how to make improve things. The panel members included Paresh Nath, President, Editor and Publisher Delhi Press Group; Chintamani Rao, CEO, India TV; and G Krishnan, CEO, TV Today.
Taking centrestage was Chintamani Rao, who was also the moderator of the discussion. He was of the opinion that in the absence of TAM representatives at the meet it seemed like “an ex parte trial”.
According to Rao, one of the biggest shortcomings of the measurement system was the sample size. Drawing an analogy with the economy Rao said, “Like in any economy, we don’t need two currencies. It is always better to have a single currency, a currency that serves the purpose adequately.
Taking it up from where Rao left, G Krishnan brought to the fore the point that the client should be in conjunction with the broadcasters in order to get to the right audiences. He expected greater participation from the advertisers and agencies as far their contribution towards funding the research agencies went.
The upshot of the meet from the advertisers, media agencies and the broadcasters’ perspective was the need for a more robust measurement system. MRUC plans to get the service providers on the table after this round of user body meet and get some answers from them.
MRUC TV User Body meet offers suggestions to improvise ratings in India