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Significant changes to the TAMS panel

On 29 January 2011, the SAARF TAMS council plans to implement the AMPS 2010a universes to the TAMS panel. These new universes are based on the January to June 2010 AMPS fieldwork period and will result in some significant changes to the TAMS panel.
The latest BMR population estimates will be incorporated which reflect the bureau's adjustments to previous estimates. The total television meter universe will increase by 8.5%, whilst DStv satellite homes reflect a growth of 11.4% (from 2.188 million to 2.437 million homes). LSM 7 and 8 show above average growth (up 17% and 31% respectively) together with the rural portion on the universe (up 19%)

In addition the new universes will incorporate the new RIM weights that will for the first time fix the premium and compact/other bouquets within the DStv portion of the panel.

According to Brenda Wortley, head of research and strategy at Oracle Airtime Sales (OATS), "We are expecting an overall increase in OATS commercial audiences (measured in 000's) of 3.4%, but that will decrease by 2.9%. This reflects both the growth of the subscriber base as well as the changing profile of the DStv subscriber base.

"We expect the premium only channels such as MNet, KykNET, SuperSport 1 and 2 to show relatively stable audiences in 000's but to reflect a drop in DStv ratings of about 8-10%. On the other hand, the compact based channels such as Africa Magic, Mzansi and Vuzu will show double digit audience growth in 000s and positive growth in DStv ratings. Some channels are to gain and others to lose with each of the universe updates as the panel size and profiles are adjusted.

"When planning for February 2011, using 4th quarter 2010 as source data, planners must take into account these universe adjustment factors as well as the usual fluctuations due to programme changes and shifts in audience share as a result of new channels coming on the platform. Different down weight rules should be applied to compact channels compared to premium channels, with premium channels down weighted further.

"Finally, the industry should continue to plan DStv placements, using sound planning practices ie using break ratings and applying responsible down weights to ratings and by ensuring their DStv sample sizes within TAMs are robust and stable. Ratings will still vary at spot-by-spot, so overall campaign performance should be used to judge performance. As previously recommended, the most recent six-week source period should be used and adjustments made for programme changes. Planners can contact their sales representatives should they require further details on specific channels and target markets.

The ongoing growth in the DStv base is now factored in to the DStv rate setting process. "We continue to take moderate increases and to adjust our pricing in a Cost per Thousand world in response to the growth in both the audience base as well as advertising demand," she concludes.

The next universe update based on July-December 2010 AMPS is likely to be implemented by the middle of 2011. SAARF will advise the industry of this date.

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