New Delhi Television (NDTV) has filed a lawsuit against Nielsen, alleging loss of revenue to the tune of at least US $ 810 million over the last eight years, on account of ‘false, fabricated and manipulated data’ released to the public by Nielsen, Kantar and TAM.
The lawsuit has been filed in the state of New York in the US, Nielsen’s global operations headquarters, on 26 July.
In a copy of the 194-page suit available here, NDTV claims, “The wrongful actions, and/or the willful inactions, of Nielsen, Kantar and TAM have led to consistent under reporting of viewership ratings for NDTV owned channels over the past eight years.”
NDTV has also alleged, quoting past interactions with TAM, that Nielsen, Kantar and TAM, besides ‘abusing their dominant position in the Indian market’, are ‘also liable for indulging in corrupt practices by manipulating viewership data in favor of channels that are willing to covertly provide monetary inducements / payments / bribes to TAM officials’.
According to the suit, “These payments are accepted and viewership data manipulated as per the requirement of such paying channels.”
NDTV confirmed that it has filed a lawsuit in the Supreme Court of New York State, but refused to comment further at this time as the matter is sub judice.
Responding to a query from Campaign India, TAM India said in an e-mailed response: “TAM India, a 50:50 joint venture between Kantar Media and Nielsen, doesn't comment on any litigation.”