OzTAM replaces AC Nielsen to cut costs
SYDNEY — A row is raging over Australia’s new ratings service, which continues to give Kerry Packer’s Nine Network lower auds than Nine has come to expect.OzTAM was set up by commercial webs Nine, Network Ten and Seven Network ahead of the February sweeps after they ended their contract with AC Nielsen to cut costs. But whereas Network Ten and Seven Network are pleased with OzTAM’s numbers, which show they’ve won overall gains, Nine is fuming at losing its 10-year spot at the top of the ratings. As each of the three commercial networks began to question the accuracy of whichever system did not deliver their most flattering numbers, OzTAM’s ratings provider ATR and AC Nielsen agreed to an independent audit. The inquiry, headed by ratings expert Professor Peter Danaher, compared ATR’s numbers with AC Nielsen’s for three weeks from mid-April. Nine asserts it found:
- ATR’s panel composition was flawed, especially in Melbourne;
- An oversampling of young people; and
- Flaws in the way the system is weighted and calculated.