The Television Audience Research Committee (TİAK) has announced that it is severing its agreement with the rating-measurement company AGB Nielsen in a move that has plunged the future of television ratings in Turkey into uncertainty.
In the latest twist in the rating-fraud scandal, which has shaken the Turkish television world, TİAK terminated its contract with AGB, an international company that measures over 40 percent of the world's TV viewing behavior, following the revelation that the company had leaked a confidential list that included details of families who had been bribed to manipulate TV ratings.
With no immediate solution on the horizon, TİAK is looking to enter into negotiations with Taylor Nelson Sofres (TNS), with whom it has an existing contract to begin working in September 2012, as to the possibility of putting the contract into effect sooner than planned.
Speaking about what the future holds for the calculation of TV ratings in Turkey, TİAK General Manager Dursun Güleryüz said the company requires a short period to make decisions regarding future partnerships: “We are currently trying to bring forward the date with which we begin working with TNS. At the moment it is a little ambiguous, but we will make a firm decision at a TİAK board of directors meeting next week,” adding that the company's foremost aim was to ensure that the sector did not suffer damage and that the situation could be rectified in a reliable and trustworthy way.
Despite the uncertainty of the situation and the fact that ratings will not be carried out for the next few months, TİAK President Hidayet Karaca maintained that TV channels and all the parties involved would not suffer any drawbacks. “Ratings are very important because of course they directly affect the proportion of advertising that a channel gets. This has been a problem that has been lingering over the sector for several years now; but as of Dec. 20 we have decided to cut our ties with AGB, and next week we will get together with advertising agencies and production companies and together decide about the plan for the future,” he said.