In an expected move, Kantar Media, one of the parent companies of TAM Media, has filed a writ petition in the Delhi High Court against the latest television ratings guidelines.
With barely 25 days left, Kantar Media has taken the legal recourse after efforts to resolve the issue outside court through discussing at various forums failed to yield any results.
Kantar Media has maintained that it is against selling its stakes in TAM Media and has tried to discuss this with Government, without much success.
In an earlier conversation with exchange4media, Thomas Puliyel, President, IMRB International had said, Kantar is raising this in every forum possible – in discussions with the industry and stakeholders as well as with the Government. “Many in the industry are very supportive of our assertion that a ratings-dark period will only benefit vested interests,” he added.
Kantar might get a stay order from the Court: Experts
Meanwhile, senior observers and stakeholders in the industry have said that two advertising bodies – AAAI and ISA – will stand by Kantar in the case. Advertisers have always been vocal about the fact that ratings blackout in any case will result in cutting of ad spends on TV which is not good for the overall economics until there is an alternative to the existing rating system. Both the agencies reportedly had been urging TAM to take the legal course in this case.
Senior sources in the broadcasting fraternity have also indicated that broadcasters do not support ratings blackout too. “There are certain possibilities. Kantar Media might get a stay from the High court. Considering the present dynamics it is not possible for them to dilute their stake within a month. At the same time Nobody in the industry can afford a blackout. But I would also say that broadcasters though against a blackout have a difference of opinion when it comes to TAM. As far as TAM data is concerned, it is still unreliable”, said a senior broadcaster.
Arvind Sharma in an interaction with e4m yesterday had said that post the cabinet approval MIB has expressed its inability to extend the deadline in any case.
“It is all a part of the game. Kantar might get a stay order from the court citing the absence of an alternative in the market, atleast for next 6-8 months. In case stay order does not happen there is a possibility that the existing agency might route their services through other partners and not operate as an independent existing rating agency. But that is a later possibility and industry too would not be in favour of that” said a senior media planner in Delhi.
The industry therefore is speculative over the developments but is confident that citing the present economic environment and the industry dynamics which is relying on the existing system might sail the boat for next eight months.