[By Kagiso Mnisi]
After the resignation of the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) from the South African Audience Research Foundation, and the motion being supported by both e.tv and SABC, confidence in SAARF has dwindled. One of the reasons out of a myriad is that the research organisation has refused to give broadcasters more seats on the board.
Another contentious issue is the unhappiness about a recent audit of Saarf’s Television Audience Measurement Survey (TAMS), which provides the daily audience ratings for television viewership of all television broadcasters in the country.
Saarf’s responses to these developments has been that its members were “extremely disappointed at the proposed resignation of the NAB from Saarf”. CEO Paul Haupt further says:
“Saarf wants to state unequivocally that it was not the Saarf board that refused the NAB proposal for greater representation of broadcast media on the Saarf board. Saarf members asked the NAB for extra time (two weeks) to consult their constituencies and to evaluate other options before meeting again with the NAB to try and resolve the issue amicably and to get a consensus decision from all Saarf stakeholders.
A host of other dissatisfactions with Saarf include:
- Failure to keep up with the evolving South African demographic profile
- Inability to measure a cross section of society
- Failure to balance the panel by individual LSM
- Failure to properly maintain the household meters used to gather the TAMS information
- Failure to manage the declining efficiency of the panel.
- All of the above-mentioned failures resulted in unstable data from primarily lower LSM households.