New metering technology for TV ratings
The German TV Research Partnership (AGF) and GfK Fernsehforschung supplement their TV research agreement
Nuremberg, May 9, 2006 - The AGF, which represents the TV stations of ARD, ProSiebenSat.1, RTL and ZDF, has commissioned GfK Fernsehforschung (TV research) to gradually replace the existing metering technology from mid-2007 onwards. The new technology facilitates the collection of data on future TV usage, which results from technological change in terms of reception and the introduction of new ancillary equipment.
Today, the German TV research contract which runs from 2005 to 2011 with an extension option until 2013 was supplemented by a contract for new metering technology. The AGF has commissioned GfK Fernsehforschung to switch to the new metering technology from mid-2007 onwards. This enhanced contract will be valid from 2007 to 2011 and also contains an extension option until 2013. The total volume now amounts to around 100 million euros. In addition to the existing measurement of analog TV, the new agreement covers all digital platforms, such as DVB-T, DVB-C and DVB-S. The use of traditional video recorders will continue to be measured, but will be supplemented by the metering of innovative recording devices including personal video recorders and DVD recorders.
Dr. Andrea Malgara, Chairman of the AGF Management Board, explained, "Telecontrol XL, the metering device in use since 1995, meets all the requirements for measuring analog use, but does not cover the functionalities that will be required in the digital environment of the future. The new technology is module-based and facilitates the integration of future usage platforms via additional AGF contracts, a vital feature in times of constant technological progress."
The new metering device is called Telecontrol score and is being developed and produced by GfK's Swiss subsidiary, Telecontrol AG, which also produced the predecessor equipment. TC score comprises a centralized terminal which stores all measured data and several additional metering modules that can be added as required. These can be installed in the centralized terminal or located in additional equipment. Enhanced by additional metering functions, the modules will replace the TV reception or recording equipment used by the TV panel households.
A seamless transition from the old to the new metering technology is guaranteed. All new households joining the AGF/GfK TV panel and all existing households with digital reception or recording equipment will be supplied with the new metering technology. By the end of 2011, the switchover should be completed.
Michael Darkow, Manager Director of GfK Fernsehforschung, commented, "The new GfK metering technology, TC score, represents a further milestone in the history of TV ratings in Germany. We are delighted that the AGF relies on GfK, also when it comes to metering technology solutions for the future."
The ratings of programs and channels established by the AGF/GfK TV panel are the standard tool used in media planning and program research in Germany.
The GfK Group
The GfK Group is the No. 5 market research organization worldwide. Its activities cover five business divisions, Custom Research, Retail and Technology, Consumer Tracking, Media and HealthCare. Together with the former NOP World companies consolidated since June 1, 2005, the GfK Group achieved sales EUR 937.3 million for financial year 2005 in accordance with IFRS. In addition to 13 German subsidiaries, the company has over 130 companies located in more than 70 countries. Of a current total of more than 7,500 employees, 80% are based outside Germany. For further information, visit our website: www.gfk.com.