Broadcaster NDTV has sued audience measuring agency, Nielsen and its global parents, Nielsen and Kantar, for over $1.3 billion, accusing them of manipulating ratings data.
According to a report in Business Standard, NDTV alleged the defendants manipulated viewership data in favour of channels who “paid” money.
NDTV alleged in the suit that widespread data manipulation had been going on for over eight years, making it appear fewer people were watching NDTV channels than actually were — causing the broadcaster financial losses.
NDTV, India’s oldest private TV network, is demanding at least $810 million for fraud and at least $580 million to compensate for those losses, according to the suit, said the Hollywood Reporter magazine.
NDTV also accused Nielsen and Kantor of operating worldwide through a complex web of subsidiaries and joint ventures and abusing the power of TAM’s monopoly in India. TAM is India’s only TV ratings firm.
Ratings agencies earn billions of dollars annually by selling data on viewership patterns and ratings of broadcasters used by advertisers for marketing and advertising plans.
The Indian reports quoted a Nielsen spokesman as saying the firm “has a longstanding policy of not commenting on pending legal matters” while an NDTV spokesman said the group would not comment as the case was under review.
Story from Hindustan Times