Amidst a raging controversy over TV channels' ratings, the News Broadcasters Association (NBA) has written to I&B Minister Ambika Soni seeking an independent audit of Television Audience Measurement (TAM) to know whether the agency's surveys accurately map the viewership.
The NBA, which represents several leading news channels, has also demanded in its letter that TAM should be asked to suspend reporting data until such an audit is undertaken.
In their letter to the minister, the NBA said, "TAM has been reporting viewership data to the industry despite serious concerns over their systems and methodology of measuring TV audiences."
"Data continues to be skewed and is seriously affecting broadcasters and their business," the letter added.
The NBA letter told Soni saying that her pursuance of the issue had prompted them to make some requests.
Order an independent third-party time-bound audit by a reputed agency to evaluate and measure the TAM systems and make the audit report public," the NBA said in its letter.
The letter further said the ministry should lead in taking efficient steps to correct "deficiencies" in the system and help in the building of a robust, transparent and dependable rating system.
The NBA also demanded that till the time audit is not done and corrective steps are not taken, TAM should be asked to suspend reporting its television data.
"Direct TAM to suspend reporting data until the above is undertaken," NBA's letter to the I&B minister said.
Some broadcasters have levelled the charge of inaccurate ratings against TAM in the past with NDTV declaring that it was pursuing legal course while state broadcaster Prasar Bharati also said Doordarshan's reach and audience were not reflected in TAM ratings.