Wednesday, August 1, 2012


MANILA, Philippines -- India's oldest and largest news network has accused The Nielsen Co. of manipulating viewership data in favor of broadcasters that are willing to provide bribes to its officials, several media outfits reported on Monday.

New Delhi Television Ltd. (NDTV) filed the 194-page lawsuit in New York County Supreme Court on July 26, accusing Nielsen of violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, as well as the Dutch Corporate Governance Code.

"Viewership data is deliberately changed and/or manipulated with corrupt/dishonest intentions/motives," NDTV said in its lawsuit.

"The acts of viewership data manipulation are clearly malicious and undertaken with the active collusion, awareness, gross and willful negligence and reckless disregard of the top management of the defendants."

NDTV, which produced India’s first 24-hour news channel “Star News,” said it is being hurt by the manipulated ratings.

'Irreparable damage'

"The malafide and corrupt practices of the defendants have caused and continue to cause losses to NDTV not only of revenue, but also irreparable damage to NDTV’s hard earned goodwill, brand and reputation," it said in the lawsuit.

The company claimed that over the past eight years, it had revenue losses of not less than $810 million due the "false, fabricated and manipulated data."

“This is a case of a once noble company, Nielsen, now owned by ‘sponsors,’ exhibiting unabashed short term greed and reckless disregard of its duties and of its noble origin,” NDTV said in the lawsuit.

These “sponsors,” NDTV said, consist of private-equity firms that include KKR, The Blackstone Group, The Carlyle Group, Thomas H. Lee Partners, Alpinvest Partners, Hellman & Friedman and Centerview Partners.

NDTV claimed that the private-equity firms have ordered “cost cutting and cost avoidance measures to maintain share prices in the short term, so they can ‘cash out,’ as part of the typical leveraged buyout 'exit strategy,’ making billions of dollars in profits.”

Such measures, NDTV said, have resulted in “disregarding their explicit obligations to thousands of customers such as NDTV."

The Indian broadcaster also alleged that these cost-cutting measures are among the main reasons behind the supposedly manipulated TV viewership data.

Philippines case cited

NDTV also said Nielsen’s “wrongdoings” have hurt not only the New Delhi-based network but “countless others in Florida, Turkey, the Philippines and across the planet.”

In the Philippines, leading broadcast network ABS-CBN Corp. filed a case against AGB Nielsen Media Research for “failing to comply with its request to investigate alleged cheating and data tampering in TV ratings.” The case is still pending in court.

NDTV’s lawsuit specifically targets targets Television Audience Measurement or TAM, which it described as a “joint venture monopoly” created in 1998 by Nielsen and Kantar Media Research, which are former rivals in India.

However, in its complaint, NDTV also noted that TAM "acts merely as a distributor of the products generated by the Nielsen Process, which is controlled by Nielsen from the US."

"The corruption, manipulation and release of tampered and fabricated viewership figures for Nielsen’s Kantar’s and TAM’s Indian operations has been going on for at least eight years, despite the same having been brought to the knowledge of Nielsen, Kantar and TAM on numerous occasions between 2004 and 2012," it said.

On January 4, 2012, NDTV wrote to David Calhoun, the worldwide CEO of Nielsen, repeating complaints about the company’s losses resulting from “ongoing rampant corruption in television viewership data” published by TAM.

“All of NDTV’s losses and complaints as noted in this complaint were presented to those senior officials of Nielsen and Kantar at that meeting, along with evidence supporting such losses and complaints, the parties involved in rampant corruption, which, by the very nature of television and cable operations in India included politicians,” NDTV said in the lawsuit.

No remedial measures

NDTV said they were promised “immediate solutions” at the meeting but that no remedial measures were taken.

“The primary remedial measure required was (1) the discontinuation of publication of data until there was an increase of sample size from 8,000 to 30,000 and (2) immediately increased security measures. To date, however, no such remedial measures have been taken. Corrupt data continues to be published, with the knowledge and/or conscious disregard of the fact that the benefits of such continuing publication inure to the benefit of politicians,” NDTV said in the lawsuit, noting that due to the “monopoly power” of TAM, Indian broadcasters an advertisers have had no choice but to rely on “corrupted” data.

“Those promises have been broken, and NDTV has suffered losses as direct result of those broken promises,” NDTV said.

“That data has been, and continues to be, corrupted by lack of security and lack of adequate sample size. Yet Nielsen and Kantar, through TAM, continued and still continue, to publish such corrupted data, despite direct and specific knowledge and admission by each of them of the corruption of such data, and direct and specific knowledge of the losses caused, and that continue to be caused, to NDTV by the publication of such corrupted data,” NDTV said in its lawsuit.

Nielsen won't comment

According to The Hollywood Reporter, tampering with data has been a known problem in India since 2004 and has been discussed in public meetings.

“For example, during a November meeting in Mumbai of the board of directors of News Broadcasters Association, NDTV's executive vice chairperson Narayan Rao presented a report about the fiddling of PeopleMeters, the company's audience-measurement tool. Rao said some were ‘subverting the ratings system by 'discovering' the panel homes that have PeopleMeters installed in them, doctoring data emerging from 'parallel homes,' providing a separate TV in select panel homes for viewing while the TV linked to the meter was tuned to specified channels [and] misusing the guest button where up to 10 guests can be shown watching even when there is no one there,’” The Hollywood Reporter said in a report published on Monday.

“These acts are allegedly happening as TV channels in the country are covertly providing monetary inducements for the manipulation of data,” it added.

The Hollywood Reporter also quoted a Nielsen spokesperson as saying the company "has a longstanding policy of not commenting on pending legal matters."


Anonymous said...

ay taray ng nielsen.....di lang sa Pilipinas may issue ng fraud....

eh sa TURKEY, may issue rin ng fraud sa agb....same with ATHENS, GREECE...may nabasa din ako...

ngayon pati INDIA.....


identity said...

hehheheh OH diba..kung un GMA show mega ok N..TALO p ng AGB un GMA international....heheheheheheh abot nya....


identity said...

OH un mga KANGUSOOO jan comments nman dito....


Anonymous said...

wow! di hamak na mas marami nga....

mas rumarami pa...





ang taray ni admin laging pabor sa laosdos ang pinopost lately ah! magkano kaya ibinayad ni charing dito? alam na!!!!!!

cooldudeTWOFIVE said...

taray trending ang pinagmamalaki nilang survey firm....at least sikat..chos!`!!!!!!

identity said...

OO nga nman SIKAT nnman un AGB?


pag may post ng ganito may BAYARAN k agad...yan mga utak TALANGKA...

hnde nyo lng tanggap n un AGB nyo eh..international n DAYAAN ang ginagawa....

heheheh....PERA PERA lng byan hehehe...

Anonymous said...

ahaha! ganyan naman talaga ang mga TV networks yung mag-aaccuse sila na manipulated ang ratings... gaya dito sa Pilipinas..:D

*at alam niyo ba ang ibig sabihin ng ACCUSED? accusation lang po at hindi pa cleared! better think of it!

blackstar said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
blackstar said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
blackstar said...

Hindi naman nakapagtataka. Hanggang ngayon marami pa ring nalolokong Pinoys ang AGB-Nielsen at GMA7

Kaposo-Negro said...

Yan ba kamo ang RELIABLE SOURCE NIYO?!?!?!?!?! kahit sa labas me atraso? ano ba yang AGB na yan marami nga ang Subscribers nila di naman pala mapagkakatiwalaan! So ngayon alam na nating lahat kung ano at sino ang paniniwalaan!!! Right?
ang taray ni admin laging pabor sa laosdos ang pinopost lately ah! magkano kaya ibinayad ni charing dito? alam na!!!!!!
August 1, 2012 12:36 PM

Di na niya kailangang bayaran, Ganun talaga "pag-taon mo!, Taon mo!" dahil ang buhay ay Weather Weather lang...

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

ahaha! ganyan naman talaga ang mga TV networks yung mag-aaccuse sila na manipulated ang ratings... gaya dito sa Pilipinas..:D

*at alam niyo ba ang ibig sabihin ng ACCUSED? accusation lang po at hindi pa cleared! better think of it!

August 1, 2012 4:42 PM

oo naman alam namin ang accused. ikaw alam mo ba kung ano ang accused? at alam din namin na hindi ka basta-basta nagdedemanda kapag wala kang ebidensya. hindi naman sila parang tanga lang na akusa ng akusa ng walang ebidensya. ibig sabihin may nasilip silang hindi maganda. at para idemanda ka sa kaperehong kaso sa iba't-ibang bansa, hindi ka pa ba magtataka? unless kapuso ka talagang hindi ka magtataka. lol.

Anonymous said...


ang taray ni admin laging pabor sa laosdos ang pinopost lately ah! magkano kaya ibinayad ni charing dito? alam na!!!!!!

August 1, 2012 12:36 PM
wala naman kasing kwenta at walang magbabasa dito kapag puro kapus-o ang topic.

Si Gozgozin kaya magkano binabayad dito at kahit praise release lang eh binabandera pa? alam na!!!!

Anonymous said...

may kaso..pero un pa din ang ginagamit na survey..anong lokohan ito...bakit hindi nila mapabagsak...

Anonymous said...

Don't wanna ruin people's fun but if you read the article, involved din ang Kantar.

Anonymous said...

anong article yan?

Anonymous said...

Posted by network war

As reply, ABS-CBN's corporate communications head, Bong Osorio, sent this brief text message : "Why is GMA making a comment when it is not party to this case?"

It may be recalled that the issue between ABS-CBN and AGB Nielsen started in 2007, when ABS-CBN accused GMA-7 of ratings fraud in the areas of Bacolod and Iloilo.

AGB was the ratings service provider to both stations at the time.Former employees of GMA-7's regional group, interviewed by ABS-CBN's TV Patrol, claimed that Regional GMA (RGMA) president Miguel "Mike" Enriquez was involved in the alleged ratings fraud.

Enriquez—who, with Mel Tiangco, is also the primetime news anchor of GMA-7— vehemently denied the accusations made by the former RGMA employees.

In an official statement, he said: "I would like to reiterate GMA Network's stand that it has never conducted any special operation to manipulate TV and Radio ratings in its favor.

"I vehemently deny presiding in any meeting regarding ratings manipulation and/or special operations in Iloilo or anywhere else."

The fallout of the controversy was that ABS-CBN dropped AGB Nielsen and turned to Kantar/TNS for its source of TV ratings.

GMA-7, for its part, continued to use AGB Nielsen as its ratings service provider. It still does.

AGB NIELSEN & KANTAR. AGB Nielsen is a market research firm that measures audience viewership, for TV ratings, in certain areas in the Philippines.

According to its website, AGB Nielsen began conducting Television Audience Measurement (TAM) for the Philippine broadcast and advertising industries in 1992.

It was then called Nielsen Media Research; in 1999, it was called AGB Philippines; and in 2006, it became AGB Nielsen, the name it carries today.

As AGB Nielsen, it created a national television audience measurement panel that it called National Urban Television Audience Measurement (NUTAM), which it claims covered 95 percent of the country's urban areas.

Its Metro City TAM conducts reports on three metropolitan cities it does not name in its website, plus reports on the cities of Cebu, Iloilo, and Davao.

Aside from GMA-7, AGB Nielsen also provides ratings information to TV5.

Kantar/TNS, on the other hand, says it set up its TAM panel at the start of 2007, and claims to have released data to ABS-CBN and GMA in September 2007.

The TNS Global Market Research website also says: "TNS Media Research Philippines officially released its national television audience measurement data on February 2009.

"The panel, composed of 1370 representative households, covers urban Philippines and reports on 7 sectors namely NCR, Suburbs, North Luzon, Central Luzon, South Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao."

Currently, among the three television giants ABS-CBN, GMA-7, and TV5, Kantar provides ratings research to ABS-CBN. Ano sa tingin nyo empleyado ng Kapusok network ang nag sabi.

Anonymous said...

eto ang kanoodles. walang kinikilingan

pero kapit sa mandaraya.

magsara na yan!

kanoodles ang #3


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