Monday, July 7, 2014

The Mysterious Case of Geo Network’s Ridiculously Exaggerated TV Ratings

Let us go back a couple of months when Geo News publicly criticized the Pakistan army during the Hamid Mir assassination attempt case. Pakistani TV Audience and masses voiced their severe displeasure at GEO Network’s antics over libel towards Pakistan Army and ISI and recommended it should be banned.  As per the ground realities, GEO Network faced a mass boycott by majority of Pakistani Public refusing to further tune into Geo. Even Geo itself cried to the officials regarding Cable TV Distributors all over Pakistan not airing their channel transmission.  However, the viewership ratings for the GEO Network (both Geo News and Geo Entertainment) continued their stable trend astonishingly without any difference or losing any eyeballs!

Interestingly, soon after this, Geo News was banned intermittently; it was made sure by authorities that Geo News was not aired by any cable provider in Pakistan. But again, the ratings received through People Meters System under the name of TeleControl ran under a company, MediaLogics showed that Geo Network’s ratings had no effect whatsoever of the nationwide blanket ban and it was still ranked as the most watched channel in Pakistan.

Perplexed by this, I looked back even further and remembered the backlash Geo TV received from local advertisers and media industry because of the highly negative perception among the target audiences regarding Geo’s anti-Armed Forced behavior. If the ratings as per the Medialogic reports were “as high as the previous months” for Geo News programming then it leads to believe only either of the TWO possibilities:

Possibility A: The rating system technology, which currently is being taken as the authentic measure of media viewership in Pakistan, is seriously flawed and generating highly inaccurate results – hence misdirecting the advertisers and promoters.

Possibility B:  Geo Network and Mir Shakeel ur Rahman have once again managed to use their corrupt ways and lobby-pressures to keep the ratings in their favor by bribing and influencing the concerned officials to tilt the actual ratings at Geo’s side. 

If the latter turns out to be true, it raises some serious questions about the integrity of all those involved as well as another check in Geo Network’s book of dark deeds. This also raises a major concern for the Advertising community in Pakistan as the knowledge they are basing their campaigns that are worth Millions of Rupees can end up in smoke due to these flawed system/ratings!  

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