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MUMBAI — The Delhi High Court on Wednesday issued a stay order on some sections of the television ratings policy guidelines that were challenged by Kantar Media, one of the stakeholders in TAM Media Research, India’s only TV ratings agency.
 
The policy guidelines issued by the Indian government in January said that no investor could have more than 10% equity holdings in both a TV ratings agency and a broadcaster or advertising company.

Since TAM is owned by advertising giant WPP’s Kantar and Nielsen India, this effectively would have meant the end of the agency – and that India would have been without TV ratings — once the guidelines came into effect later this week (Feb. 15).
 
To counter this, Kantar took the Indian government to court. The Delhi High Court has delayed the section of the guidelines that deals with cross-holdings until the next hearing on March 6, thus allowing TAM to continue issuing ratings till then.

The Court has also directed TAM to publish a complete list of its stakeholders within two weeks along with details of their main clients.
 
A new ratings agency led by the Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) is expected to begin functioning in the last quarter of 2014. BARC has confirmed that its technology partner will be French audience measurement agency Mediametrie, in which another advertising giant Publicis Omnicom has a stake. 

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