Television Audience Measurement (TAM) data has been suspended, across all genres, across the country, until 19 December, 2012.
The move follows an agreement on the subject between TAM and the Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF), which has found consensus with the ISA (Indian Society of Advertisers) and the AAAI (Advertising Agencies Association of India).
The development follows the revised deadline for cable digitisation in New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkatta and Chennai, set for 1 November. The second phase in 38 cities is slated for 1 April 2013 and the date for digitization to be completed in rest of India is 31 December 2015.
The broadcasting industry is of the view that during the transition process from analogue signals to digital environment, there could have been discrepancies in TAM’s reporting of data, which could have had serious implications, particularly for broadcasters, not only in terms of finance but also in terms of credibility, informed an official statement.
"The deferment of release of data during the ‘switchover’ will ensure that TAM and all stakeholders have provided extended time for the on ground situation to stabilize into a digital phase. This will help in ensuring the users take a longer-term view of data for decision-making. TAM has all its systems in place to ensure accurate data. TAM will anyway be communicating the steps it is taking in this regard to all stakeholders. All stakeholders are unanimous that consistency, quality and integrity of the data must be maintained," the statement added.
IBF has said it has no intent to requisition a similar blackout in the subsequent phases of digitisation, 'as long as the data integrity and quality consistency is maintained, in the interest of the TV industry and its stakeholders'.