June 30, 2014 00:00 By Watchiranont Thongtep
Nielsen (Thailand), which dominates the television rating business, has reaffirmed that its digital TV rating system will be ready for its subscribers by end of the year, as planned.
However, the Media Agency Association of Thailand (MAAT) is planning to form a Media Research Bureau to control the national standard of measuring TV ratings.
“After recently adding 200 new TV-signal receptors on top of the existing 1,800 survey panels to correspond with the arrival of the 24 digital TV channels, we believe that by the fourth quarter of this year TV ratings will be available for our new clients,” Sinthu Peatrarut, Nielsen’s managing director for media client leadership, said last week.
About 80 per cent of all digital-terrestrial TV operators have already become subscribers under either one- or two-year contracts, Nielsen said.
The Nation understands that at least 19 digital TV channels are Nielsen clients.
Nielsen surveys the TV-signal reception of the various systems on an annual basis, so the penetration of digital-TV signal reception can be integrated into its annual survey.
The media industry will be periodically informed of the findings as a result.
Sample sizes will be increased to correspond with the increase in TV channels. By the end of next year, the sample size will become 2,200 households or about 7,700 individuals from a sample size of 2,000 households or about 7,000 individuals by this year.
Nielsen collects audience viewing data using a people meter, which detects the signal of various digital channels broadcast over the “must carry” system and reports its findings simultaneously. It is applicable to analogue, satellite and cable TV, True Visions and other systems.
Nielsen seems to be monopolising the TV industry in terms of TV rating measurement, so some media agencies and digital terrestrial TV broadcasters are seeking a new standard of TV rating and are asking for support from MAAT.
On June 20, leading media industry players, cable/satellite TV operators and the 24 digital terrestrial TV broadcasters brainstormed and reached a consensus to establish the Media Research Bureau (MRB), which will be responsible for setting a new standard of TV audience measurement and holding an auction to select a national TV audience meter.
MAAT president Wannee Ruttanaphon said the organisation would like to ensure that TV audience measurement reflects the genuine needs of the industry.
This week, MAAT members, media owners and clients will meet to set the guidelines and qualifications for the MRB, which is expected to be launched by year-end and begin drafting terms of reference for the bidding for a national TV rating measurement agency.
Three potential bidders are Nielsen (Thailand), Video Research International (Thailand) and GFK MarketWise Thailand, she said.
Initially, under a five-year contract, the bid winner must work closely with all
parties including station owners, programme producers and media agencies, she added.