The Czech Association of TV Organisations (ATO) has issued a strongly worded statement accusing Google of manipulating data.

In the statement, it refers to a press release dared September 25 in which YouTube is called the most watched TV channel. Google supports this with data from several different surveys that the ATO claims “is methodologically handled in an unacceptable manner”.

The ATO adds that Google has flooded the Czech media with a press release that certainly takes aback anyone who has ever heard of the correct handling of research data. The release does not hesitate to compare declarations with measurement, it ignores different target groups of general TV and internet population and thus it compares the incomparable: even an amateur can clearly see that these are people with different behaviour. In one of the key charts, no age target group is indicated at all, the text only talks of ‘people’”.

Tomas Hanzak, the main statistician of the ATO People Meter Project at Mediaresearch, said: “It is absolute nonsense to compare numbers for the online population and TV population within a single chart as Google does comparing the YouTube’s and TV channels’ performance. This comparison is naturally advantageous for YouTube.”

Furher, Google cites data from the electronic measurement of TV audience project without this being clearly indicated.
Vlasta Roskotova, ATO MD, commented: “The data are in the exclusive ownership of the ATO. We did not give permission to them being used and we strongly object to it. The incorrect interpretation of data damages our members, especially the broadcast providers, e.g. the Czech TV, FTV Prima and others.”

Tereza Simeckova, chairwoman of the Board at Mediaresearch, said: “From the expert point of view, we consider the message contained in the press release unprofessional and misleading. We are surprised that such a global technology giant let this happen, misinterpreting data of the TNS Aisa company research”.