India's TV ratings continue to cause a stir as Kantar takes to the courts

Rebecca Hawkes | 23-01-2014

Kantar Market Research is taking court action in India over the government's new guidelines regulating television audience measurement in the country.

Kantar, which is a shareholder in Mumbai-based TV ratings agency TAM Media, says the new rules would result in TAM's closure or operational suspension and that it would be forced to sell its stake in the 15-year old company.

The new guidelines, based on recommendations from the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) and recently issued by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, prevent a single entity from having paid-up equity above 10% in both a ratings agency and a broadcaster, advertiser or advertising agency to ensure fair ratings.

The guidelines follow a bitter dispute over ratings between TAM, advertisers, agencies and broadcasters in India during 2103.

The Delhi High Court has directed Kantar to file an affidavit on 29 January detailing its direct or indirect shareholdings in any advertising or broadcasting companies, as well as any Indian ventures, according to the Economic Times.