Even as the public broadcaster Prasar Bharati has suggested taking the services of aMap, an online TV ratings measurement firm for mapping rural homes in terms of gauging the benefits of Doordarshan to rural viewers, TAM Media, the leading TV audience measurement agency, today said that it was the first agency to have submitted a similar proposal about two years ago but was not getting a fair hearing from the government.
"We don't know why the government has not given us a fair hearing on the matter. Our proposal of creating a rural panel is 2.5 times the number of homes and half the fixed cost to what may have been suggested by others. It's unfair to us despite our detailed submission before all levels of the government," said a spokesperson from TAM Media.
TAM is a 50:50 joint venture company between AC Nielson and Kantar Media Research and provides detailed audience measurement data to its clients including broadcasters, advertisers and media agencies. About Rs 8,000 crore worth of advertising revenue on television is dependent on these viewership ratings of channels and shows.
This comes after Prasar Bharati submitted before the Parliament's Standing Committee on Information Technology saying in order to break the monopoly of TAM, it may join hands with aMap for creating a rural panel of 2,000 homes at a one time cost of Rs 10 crore and an annual recurring cost of Rs 4.65 crore.
The panel will be used for collecting and generating data, which will focus on rural homes across the country.
According to the proposal, this panel will be funded by Prasar Bharati with some investments from the online television ratings monitoring agency aMap.
Experts say the data captured from the rural homes will be of immense help to the marketers to get a better access to the rural markets as it will have several demographic details crucial for FMCG, automotive and other companies that sell their products in the rural markets as well.
Currently, the TAM panel covers 145 cities and towns with a population of more than 100,000, which represents more than 30,000 individuals and is one of the largest panels in the world.
"TAM is a neutral standalone body that is for the Indian media industry, of the industry and by the industry. This means that every single proposal and initiative that it takes up is for the industry at large and not just for one single organisation. The TAM's proposal for the rural panel to the government was for the benefit of the entire Industry," the TAM's spokesperson said.
However, in the recent past, even the broadcasters and advertisers have made moves to set up an alternative for TAM.