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Ratings impasse solution might be in the offing as Discovery goes back to weekly data

17-July-2013
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Ratings impasse solution might be in the offing as Discovery goes back to weekly data

Three days after some of India’s top advertisers started pulling out spots from TV channels, whiff of a solution ‘Coming soon’ hung in the air on Monday night.

After few major broadcasters had demanded monthly ratings from TAM, Discovery Channel has now changed its stance and officially written to TAM to get back to weekly ratings.

Two very senior executives at large networks that exchange4media spoke with on condition of anonymity said that the current state is unhealthy for the industry; they confirmed that the impasse would be resolved soon.

The mechanics of the solution, however, are not clear, with some suggesting that a formal process of discussing the matter might begin sooner than later, and suggestions of give and take flying around thick and fast.

An industry expert on condition of anonymity, owing to the sensitivity of the matter, said, “There is a possibility that in exchange for shifting to weekly ratings, broadcasters might demand a shift to CPT mechanism instead of CPRP. But it all depends upon whether advertisers are ready to accept a demand like this.”

“The CPRP model takes care of the stickiness factor. It is not a matter of reach, but of viewership. In the absence of robust mechanism, it is difficult to track whether in a sample, the audience has stuck to the advertisement or not. But there is a likely possibility that broadcasters might negotiate the terms of exchange,” added the expert.

A Marketing Head of a leading broadcaster, on condition of anonymity, stated, “One needs to understand that when it comes to revenue structure, we are bleeding both, from our top line and bottom line. All we are demanding is a robust revenue model which would benefit all the stakeholders. The CPT mechanism is the needs of the hour. It is a global standard procedure. As far as the robust ratings mechanism is concerned, I just have one point: We are in the business of viewership. The industry rarely understands the perspective of a broadcaster. We are not trying to push an agenda but trying to resolve the issue in a sophisticated and evolved fashion. The only difference is that this approach is considered by some stakeholders to be very aggressive and dominating, which is incorrect.”

Both the sides are operating on different ideologies. Although the pace with which development or turbulences are shaping up, broadcasters may be in a position to negotiate the terms of operation with advertisers, but with advertisers pulling out their ROs, the ball has again fallen into the broadcasters’ court.

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