Ratings Service Readying For Bids

The Israeli Ministry of Communications has announced that it will soon issue a tender to establish a ratings service to track audiences for broadcast and cable channels.

A license to operate the ratings system is expected to be awarded by June and begin in March 1996.

The front-runners in the tender are Taylor-Nelson from the U.K., the A.C. Nielsen company from the U.S. and Consor from Switzerland. Another company, Britain’s AGB, has entered into a joint venture with a group of Israeli investors to make a bid. The ratings system investment is expected to be approximately $3 million.

The tender, however, may hit a major snag as the three franchise owners of the so-called Second Channel have said they will not participate in funding the ratings system. They claim it is unfair for them to each pay one-fifth the cost as each franchise broadcasts two days per week.

Further opposition to the government’s plans comes from the Assn. of Israeli Advertisers, which claims that if the current tender is used, the advertising industry may establish its own ratings systems to ensure a fair and accurate system. The association’s head, Yair Feldman, says that “it isn’t logical that there should be a national ratings system but that the advertisers will be excluded from its management.”

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