Mumbai: Data on TV viewership will be temporarily suspended nationally owing to volatility in the reported information as consumers in India’s biggest cities migrate to a digital system in November.

The Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF), Indian Society of Advertisers (ISA), Advertising Agencies Association of India (AAAI) and audience measurement company TAM Media Research announced this in a joint statement on Wednesday.

The data from 7 October to 8 December will be suspended . Broadcasters will resume subscribing to it from 19 December, which will include data measured by TAM from 9 December.

Broadcasters were considering such a suspension owing to the migration in Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata and Chennai starting 1 November, Mint reported on 1 October.

“The broadcasting industry is of the view that during the transition process from analogue signals to digital environment, there could have been discrepancies in TAM’s reporting of data, which could have had serious implications, particularly for the broadcasters, not only in terms of finance but also in terms of credibility," the joint statement said.

This follows the government’s diktat to turn off all analog signals in the four metros by the deadline.

“The deferment of release of data during the switchover will ensure that TAM and all stakeholders have provided extended time for the on-ground situation to stabilize into a digital phase. This will help in ensuring the users take a longer-term view of data for decision-making," the release said.

The second phase of digitisation is set for 1 April, 2013, across 38 cities. The government intends to complete digitisation in the rest of India by 31 December, 2014.

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