Federal government takes Mediapulse measurement system under protection

The federal government has no objections to the new measurement system for collecting TV usage data. In the view of the Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications (Uvek), the currently blocked usage data should be published.

The data collection complies with the basic legal requirements of scientificity, the Uvek stated on Thursday. The system criticized by several TV broadcasters was in compliance with the law. The department came to this conclusion in its supervisory decision based on the available information. According to the decision, this includes the expert opinions commissioned by the Mediapulse foundation.

However, these reports also contain recommendations for selective improvements, which Mediapulse intends to implement in an action plan together with suggestions from the industry. The Uvek also welcomes the fact that adjustments will be made in the area of fine-tuning. It obliges the Mediapulse Board of Directors to implement the plan and to inform the Uvek about the work on a monthly basis.

Despite possibilities for improvement, however, there is no reason for the Uvek to withhold the data. "From the Uvek's point of view, the data collected with the new system should therefore be able to be passed on, published and made available to the market," the decision states. However, the Uvek admits that it has not checked the quality of the data in detail.

Quality control by commission

The Uvek did not check the quality of the data. Instead, it is counting on the work of the Media Science Commission MWK, which Mediapulse must use for quality assurance. The committee, consisting of three to five media scientists, will evaluate the new measurement system by the end of 2013. The Uvek clearly states that the new data cannot be compared with the old data because of the differences in the panels. Since the old system was no longer able to accurately represent the market, it is normal that there are now deviations. But that is no reason to "doubt the quality of the new data," he said. (SDA)

The Uvek has become active as a supervisory authority after several TV broadcasters harshly criticized the collection system and to date have taken legal action to prevent the publication of usage data. To date, ten regional TV stations have terminated their contracts (Werbewoche.ch reported).

Mediapulse satisfied

"We have taken note of the Uvek's ruling with satisfaction," Manuel Dähler, Mediapulse's managing director, said in a statement Thursday. The detailed review of Mediapulse's procedure by the supreme supervisory authority confirms on the one hand the correct procedure with regard to the new Swiss television research and on the other hand states unequivocally that there are no reasons not to publish the new television data immediately.

Withdrawal of the lawsuit by 3plus is expected

Following the clear confirmation of the new Swiss TV measurement system by the Uvek, the way is clear for a withdrawal of the lawsuit filed by TV broadcaster 3plus for alleged violation of the Federal Act on Unfair Competition UWG, Mediapulse concludes in the statement. According to the Uvek, the facts clearly speak for an unrestricted publication of the data in favor of all market participants. The publication of the newly collected TV ratings is still not possible: In April 2013, the TV broadcaster 3plus had the publication of the new TV measurement data prevented by means of a super provisional injunction. The proceedings are still pending before the Nidwalden High Court (Werbewoche.ch reported).

Read more about this topic in the current print edition of Werbewoche: Dominik Kaiser: "We are not the problem".

Image: Mediapulse.ch

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