The much anticipated decision on TAM’s fate has been delayed once again as hearing in the TV ratings guidelines case took place in the Delhi High Court yesterday (February 11, 2014). The hearing saw Kantar Media place its point of view in the case.
The hearing will now continue today (February 12, 2014) at 2.30 pm, where the three respondents in the case – the Government of India, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) and News Broadcasters Association (NBA) – will present their points of view. Following this, the Court is expected to giving its ruling in the case.
As is known, Kantar Media filed a writ petition in Delhi High Court against the latest television ratings guidelines. The bone of contention is guideline that was approved by the Cabinet on January 16, 2014, which states that no single company/ legal entity, either directly or through its associates or interconnect undertakings, shall have substantial equity holding, that is, 10 per cent or more of paid up equity in both rating agencies and broadcasters/ advertisers/ advertising agencies.
This means that Kantar Media, one of the parent companies of TAM Media, will have to sell its stake in the TV ratings agency, and that too before the deadline for implantation of the guidelines, which is February 16, 2014.
At an earlier hearing on January 29, 2014, the High Court deferred a stay order in the case
TV Ratings: HC defers stay order to Kantar; next hearing on Feb 11
Now, all eyes are on whether Kantar Media will get a stay in the case, otherwise there is a very likely possibility of TAM having to close shop. In that case, the broadcast industry is faced with a scenario of ratings blackout, at least till the time the BARC system becomes operational, which is expected in October 2014.