UAE flicks the switch on TV ratings system
Television networks and advertisers are about to get a much better image of the TV shows really rated by UAE residents.
As thousands of viewers across the UAE were glued to last night’s Euro 2012 football final, a new system to find out once and for all just how many people turn on the TV and what shows they are watching was rolled out for the first time.
Now the UAE will be able to zap into its own audience ratings system and see how many folk are watching the box - and what they’re watching.
The ‘people meter system’ will be known in the UAE as ‘tview’ - with the purpose to provide minute-by-minute viewing data.
In a statement announcing the new system, via national news agency WAM, the general manager of the Emirates Media Measurement Company, Christopher O’Hearn, said: “tview is a major step forward for the TV and advertising industry in the UAE, providing in-depth, objective data which can be used to make better programmes, improve TV schedules and help advertisers
reach the people who are most interested in
With no official information on ratings figures available previously, Nick Grande, managing director of Dubai-based TV consultants Channel Sculptor, welcomed the move as “a brilliant step towards transparency” - and one that puts the country ahead of other markets in the region.
He said: “It’s a big benefit for the television industry and a moment we can be proud of in the UAE. It’ll make information available on those watching much more reliable and it’ll prove the penetration of broadcasters.”
Initially a total of 850 UAE homes will take part. Data culled from their viewing habits will include additional demographic information such as the nationality, gender, location, age and household income status of viewers.
Ghassan Harfouche, board member of the Dubai branch of the International Advertising Association, said it supported “any measurement that brings further transparency” and “believes that TV meters are good for the industry.”
However, the ad guru also warned the system will still have to “gain the consensus and adoption of the key stakeholders in the industry - mainly the clients, broadcasters and media agencies.”