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Tue 11 Aug 2009 01:42 PM

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UAE begins plan to measure TV audiences

International consultant appointed to drive initial phase of TV industry initiative.

An international consultant has been appointed to drive the initial phase of the UAE's first TV audience measurement initiative, it was announced on Tuesday.

The National Media Council (NMC) and the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) made the appointment without naming the successful company which was picked from a list of eight in the tendering process.

The NMC and TRA launched the TV Audience Measurement initiative as a critical step towards greater development of the UAE's media industry, news agency WAM reported.

Broadcasters, advertisers and members of the public have expressed the need for an independent, NMC-led programme to establish improved transparency in TV audience measurement.

The first phase, which is expected to last eight weeks, kicked off this week with benchmarking international best-practices, assessing the local market through research and stakeholder interviews, identifying best technology options and agreeing the way forward with key industry players.

Although growth in the regional media industry has been strong since 2002, there is still thought to be significant untapped potential.

While mature media industries typically report ad spend equal to one percent of gross domestic product (GDP), this number drops to only 0.5 percent in the UAE.