Delhi High Court sets Kantar hearing for July

Rebecca Hawkes | 07-03-2014

Kantar Media's court challenge to the Indian Government's cross shareholding clause for TV ratings agencies has been adjourned until 11 July.

The new government guidelines, which came into effect on 15 February 2014, prevent any company or legal entity from having paid-up equity in excess of 10% simultaneously in rating agencies and broadcasters, advertisers or advertising agencies.

Kantar, which has a 50% stake in India's 15-year-old TV audience measurement company TAM Media Research, is owned by the global advertising giant WPP which would exclude it from continuing operation. Nielson India owns the other 50% of the Mumbai-based ratings agency.

TAM has, however, applied to the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting for its registration as a television ratings service, in accordance with a directive from an earlier court hearing. The Delhi High Court has also decreed TAM also be allowed to continue providing TV ratings for the broadcasting and advertising industry until the July hearing.

"From an industry perspective, with the IPL and elections around the corner, it is important to have a rating agency since the advertisers and media buyers have been feeling an uncertainty about spending. Given that BARC [Broadcast Audience Ratings Council] is still a long way down the road, TAM is crucial," Jehil Thakker, head of media & entertainment at KPMG, told Business Standard.