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UAE TV ratings system, tview, gets the green light for wide-scale industry adoption

The UAE’s TV audience ratings system, tview, has been given the green light for wide-scale industry adoption, following an intensive quality audit conducted by Paris-based international specialists CESP.

The audit report, which was presented to the media industry yesterday at an event hosted by the Media Zone Authority in Abu Dhabi, concluded that tview had shown massive improvement in critical aspects of the system, which uses meter devices in a panel of homes to deliver detailed minute-by-minute viewing data.

tview was initially set up in 2012 by Emirates Media Measurement Company, a joint venture of leading industry players. The first audit in 2013 showed a number of areas that needed to be improved. In the past year, tview’s appointed operator, Kantar Media, has worked with auditors CESP to engage industry stakeholders through a joint Technical Committee to plan and make the required improvements, which have been recognised in the latest audit.

Chair of the EMMC Board and CEO of Abu Dhabi Media Zone Authority, H.E. Noura Al Kaabi, welcomed the report and called on the industry to fully participate and adopt the system.

“As a people meter initiative, tview is a vital tool to support the growth of the media industry in the UAE and region. Robust measurement of viewer habits that the industry can trust is vital to support our broadcasters and advertisers.

“EMMC has shown unprecedented levels of transparency and openness in its efforts to improve tview. Every action has been completed in plain sight, subjected to scrutiny and approved by the auditors. This transparency means the industry can put their confidence in tview and the analysis it provides.

“We invite the industry to demonstrate their support for better audience measurement in the UAE by taking steps to adopt tview, as recommended by the auditors,” she added.

The audit found that compliance (active participation of panel homes) had improved from below 60% to nearly 77%, putting it well on the way to the internationally recognised target of 85%.

Visits to panel homes showed that around 90% of TV sets were being properly metered, up from 74% one year ago.
The third key improvement was a change in the survey methodology used to gather data about the UAE population, which was successfully piloted during the year. This will now be rolled out on a larger scale.

EMMC General Manager Christopher O’Hearn said, “EMMC, Kantar Media and the Technical Committee have worked hard all year to make these improvements, and we will continue to do more to develop tview.”

“We understand this is a significant and game-changing step for the industry but we have to catch up with the rest of the world. 78 countries have electronic TV measurement systems, some established for decades. If the television industry does not embrace it here then it will continue to be undervalued, and will suffer further as digital consumption and online viewing increases.”

Alberto de Pablo, Regional Director, Kantar Media, said “We welcome the results of this second independent audit from CESP, endorsing the TV currency service in the UAE. Kantar Media prides itself on more than thirty years’ experience conducting Television Audience Measurement (TAM) to the highest standards. We use techniques and technologies based on our worldwide experience conducting Audience Measurement panels in many countries across the world.

“Since being appointed by EMMC in 2011, we are committed to working with tview to continue to deliver accurate, transparent audience measurement to the best possible level. We look forward to achieving this goal together with all stakeholders, enabling the industry to continue to move forward,” he concluded.

EMMC also unveiled a new public service awareness campaign advertisement, which will soon be featured on television channels across the UAE.

The campaign highlights the place of television in the lives of viewers and how measurement benefits audiences by giving them power to influence decisions made by broadcasters and advertisers.

Speaking about the advertisement, Mr O’Hearn said: “This campaign is aimed at improving general awareness of television audience measurement. Every person in the UAE has an equal chance of being contacted by tview to ask about household and viewing habits, or to join the panel, so we want people to know what we do, why we do it and how it helps them.

“Ultimately better measurement means more money for better programs, better advertising and a better service to TV viewers,” he added.