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Tue 13 Jan 2009 07:03 AM

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TV audience initiative set to boost $8bn ad market

Officials reveal plan to to introduce system to measure TV audiences in UAE.

The UAE is looking to introduce a new TV audience measurement project which officials say could lead to an increase in advertising spend.

The National Media Council (NMC) and the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) will be implementing the initiative to measure the size of a programme's audience in the UAE.

A company will be licenced to undertake and manage the project, with the NMC and the TRA playing a regulatory role to ensure fairness and transparency, it has been announced.

The project will provide, for the first time, accurate and reliable data of use to TV channels and advertisers to evaluate the effectiveness of their TV marketing strategies.

It also is expected to result in an increase in the TV ad spend in the UAE.

In the last few years, there has been dramatic growth in the media industry in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

In 2007, total measured expenditure on advertisements in the region reached around $8 billion, a 20 percent increase over the previous year.

TV has been the leading segment - taking 43 percent of overall advertising spend throughout the region, split between more than 400 television channels in the MENA region.

The NMC and the TRA are now starting a consultation period in an effort to establish a People Meter System in the UAE to measure audiences.