The dialogue between News Broadcasters Association (NBA) and TAM Media Research on shifting the frequency of TAM data reportage from weekly to monthly was tabled once again on September 6, 2011. exchange4media readers would recall that the conversation was initiated a month ago, and NBA had sent an official mail to TAM on this, last week.
The NBA has proposed for this shift to be introduced initially for a period of two years. The NBA issued a statement on September 9, 2011 that also said, “The changes are expected to be implemented from October 2011. Eventually the monthly format is expected to be implemented for regional news channels as well.”
For the NBA Board, this effort is to improve news broadcasting standards, and that the shift should begin for all national news and business channels in Hindi and English. The NBA statement quoted: “News channels being distinct from other genres, have a responsibility to inform and empower its viewers with quality programming and dissemination of news rather than providing content merely for garnering viewership. Coverage and reportage of news and programmes cannot always be linked to popularity or audience measurement. News broadcasting standards, the NBA Board believed, can only improve with time spent on strategic planning and research rather than kneejerk reactions taken on a weekly basis.”
Responding via an official statement, L V Krishnan, CEO, TAM Media Research, said, “While we at TAM do understand the NBA perspective, our suggestion, as discussed in our meeting with NBA on Tuesday, 6th September 2011, is that it is imperative for NBA to first discuss their proposal with other industry bodies/stakeholders like IBF, AAAI, ISA etc. who are also users of the same central TAM database. Further, only after this should one arrive at an overall industry consensus on the frequency of TAM data reporting. TAM will require written approvals from each of the member’s industry bodies on the decision taken with respect to the change in frequency of data reporting. Till the time we receive a formal overall approval from all stakeholders of the TAM database, no decisions on the change in current frequency of reporting will be taken.”
The NBA statement also said that this “initiative taken by the NBA would not, in any way, hamper the decision making of advertisers and advertising agencies. In the new monthly dispensation, advertisers would continue to get access to data broken down to a minute or a day-part or a specific programme in a manner similar to how data points are currently accessed in the weekly format.”
TAM on the other hand has re-stressed the importance of ensuring all stakeholders have agreed to this, and that after the frequency has been collectively decided by industry stakeholders, TAM is involved in the decision making process of implementation timelines. Krishnan said in his statement, “There are many internal adjustments and logistical dynamics that TAM will have to take into account before implementation which we would like to share with the industry stakeholders. It is important that each of the user organisation’s interests are kept in mind in the new change proposed by NBA. We have to be sure that the complete implications of such a move have been understood by all users of the data base and the industry takes a collective and informed decision.”