« Hot on the heels of Turkey’s massive match-fixing case, the country’s TV world has also been shocked by a huge fraud case, with Istanbul police raiding more than 20 locations on allegations of irregularities in the rating measurements for certain channels.
Seven suspects, two of whom are women, were taken into custody yesterday in connection with the allegations, according to Doğan news agency. The suspects were accused of giving gifts to television viewers with measurement devices to keep the ratings of particular shows high.
The raids, which targeted the offices of numerous production firms and the AGB Nielsen company, which measures ratings, were part of an investigation launched following a complaint from the state-owned broadcaster Turkish Radio and Television (TRT) for alleged tampering with television ratings. Computer hard-disks, five cell phones and large volumes of digital materials and documents were seized by the police during the raids, Anatolia news agency reported. […]
Ratings measurements in Turkey are done by AGB Nielsen Turkey and TİAK, a company that brings together TV stations and advertisers. There competition in the TV market is very fierce as channels are constantly striving to gain a bigger share of Turkey’s $1.5-billion TV ad market.
TRT had already dropped out of the rating measurements in January 2010 on the grounds that the results of the measurements were of dubious reliability. A written statement issued from the TRT at the time also indicated that the ratings they received were inconsistent with the improvements they had been making over the past two years.
Other leading broadcasting stations have also decided to withdraw from viewer rating measurements, including NTV, Habertürk, CNBC-e and BloombergHT.
At the moment, only seven broadcasting stations are still subscribing to the system, namely ATV, Flash TV, Fox TV, Kanal 7, Kanal D, Show TV, Star TV and Samanyolu TV. There are devices in 3,500 to 4,000 houses to measure the TV ratings, according to the information available on Nielsen Turkey’s website.[…] »
In a written statement released on Monday through the Public Disclosure Forum (KAP), Doğan Yayın said the company had reached an agreement with Doğuş for the sale of Star. “We signed a deal for the sale of our shares in Star TV late on Monday with Doğuş Group,” the statement said. Doğuş will pay $151 million in cash and the remaining $176 million will be paid in 24-month installments to DYH. Doğuş takes over Star from Nov. 1.
Doğan had to pay the Finance Ministry TL 294.2 million in fines levied on the company in 2009 for alleged irregularities in its tax returns. In alleged efforts to raise funds to compensate for the tax fines it had to pay, DYH in April sold its Milliyet and Vatan dailies to the Demirören-Karacan joint venture’s DK Gazetecilik ve Yayıncılık A.Ş. for $74 million. Doğan last year said it would eventually sell all of the companies in its media business, except for the Hürriyet daily, within three months in an attempt to pay off the crippling tax fines. »
By a kind of laziness I was searching a program allowing me to save some time on the georeferencing process. So there are some maps I did with Batchgeo from a list of TV and film producers (app. 290 enterprises); a list of TV channels (app. 430 channels); and a list of the malls of Istanbul (89 sites). The software is supposed to geolocalize automatically the enterprises from their addresses using Googlemaps and its algorithms… I’d confess I’m not very sure of the precision of the results but it spare a lot of time at the first glimpse, at least on the technical part of georeferencing. I’m trying to improve the quality of the datas to get a better picture…
An interesting thing is you can also transform those datas from a Google Earth format (importing the .kml files) to GIS formats (.shp and the rest) through some tricks (visibles here and there), or using GvSIG to convert the kml files…
I used excel’s macros programming (cf. this article for the technique) to gather into one database several informations about the daily audience of television in Turkey since 2004 containing : target group, day of diffusion, name of the program, channel of broadcasting, score of audience, rating, and market share. The period studied in that database runs from June 11th 2004 to May 1st 2011, and represents approximately, so 2500 days and 500.000 different programs referenced.
NA : in order to share those results with turkish colleagues more easily I tried to write this article in English. I apologize in advance for the grammar faults I’ll certainly do. You can post comments if some parts seems not understandable.
I considered that part of my thesis as a complement to other datas I presented into another articles (timelines, TV production informations). On the frame of a scientific research the global intention of this new quantitive work is to prepare, by gathering various quantitive facts or infos about my subject (tv turkish series production from 1970 to now) some sufficient factual backgrounds to lead further qualitative and theorical analysis.
THE DATAS :
Before any consideration I wanted to give some infos giving an idea of the turkish population concerned by the television. In Turkey, for a population of 72 millions inhabitants and 18,3 millions households in 2009, 17,9 millions have a tv (so 96%). It means around 71 millions turks were in 2009 able to watch television at home. (source : EU, MAVISE )
The audiences datas presented below were first produced by AGB Nielsen, then published day by day on Medyatava since June 2004.
According to their website « Nielsen Audience Measurement Turkey has been conducting Television Audience Measurement (TAM) services in Turkey since 1989. Today, the panel represents the urban Turkish population with 2500 households« .
KEY FACTS Population: 72,561,312 total / 60,264,546 urban (2009 population) Panel Size: 2,500 households First data production: 1989
THE PANEL Peoplemeters installed: 3,500 to 4,000 Universe: 51,657,783 (representing age 5+ urban population) Data monitored: Terrestrial, cable and digital satellite Data retrieval via: Phone lines
(Source : AGB Nielsen)
The main critic we could do about the audience survey by AGB Nielsen is the lack of precisions concerning the method they use to obtain their numbers. It’s also interesting to notice that AGB Nielsen is nowadays living the end of a crisis lasting since 2007 between them and the turkish government (cf « revue de presse » and this article), their contract coming also to an end. Anyway the interest of doing this study is the monopolistic position of AGB Nielsen in the audience measurement in Turkey. Even if the figures given by AGB are suspicious, the fact stays that every private channel has to refer to their numbers to decide of a broadcasting strategy.
Another precisions and definitions concerning the reading of the graphs :
Audience rating : from 0% to 100%, 0% meaning nobody watched the program, 100% the whole sample population watched it.
Audience score : from 1st to 100th place. A good score could be a high or low rate depending on the other audience ratings ; it’s relative.
Number of programs : quantity of programs broadcasted.
AB group / TÜM group : groups of population defined by AGB Nielsen. I don’t have yet a lot of information about the groups composition. So as a first exploration, this analysis will just focus on one : the AB group, seeming to be the « high and middle class », the one interesting the most for advertisement sellers.
AUDIENCE ANALYSIS :
I’ll present therefore a serie of various graphics intending to measure the importance of TV series audience amongst other kind of programs into the grid of the channels. At this step of the analysis the audience analysis can be approached by different ways : the program typologies, the channels grid’s structuration, and the periodicities of audience.
The audience data is a key fact for any channel studied : the audience weights the price of the advirtisement space in the broadcasting grid, and so the capacity of revenue of the channel. The higher audience gets, the more expensive you can sell advertisement. It seems quite important to analyze audiences and its impact on creation considering the behavior of other channels as in Turkey as abroad : for instance it’s well-known in America the channels are monitoring very carefully the audience’s curves and make changes to the contents, to the scenario, to get better audience rates. The situation in Turkey seems to be likewise and any telespectator in Turkey could see what importance and presence got the sponsors into the production of a tv serie.
1/ PROGRAMS TYPOLOGIES
The first graph presented above compares the audience score rates (from the 1st viewed to the 100th) of different categories of programs :
Cartoons, Concerts, Daily Magazines, Documentary, Film Foreign, Film Turkish, Health/Service Education, Humour, Magazines, Meeting/Discussion, Music/Entertainment, News report, Newscast, Politics, Reality Show, Religious, Serials Foreign, Serials Turkish, Sport News, Sporting Events, Sporting Magazine, Studio Programs, Talk Show, Theatre/Cabaret/Musicals, TV Games, Weekly Magazines, Women.
Reading the graph : We can see on this graph a very distinguished preferences from the audience (10 first rates ) for turkish series and newscasts, the third prefered kind of program being the TV games. The particular observation with this chart is the relative constance of those curves for every typology from 10th to 100th rating score. The interpretation we could do at this point (as a hypothesis) would be the following :
Above another graph in the same spirit but slightly different. In that graph the scores (x axis) are replaced by constant ratings, so the interpretation deals with another fact : the « left-behinds » turkish series programs.
Reading the graph : In my interpretation of this graph, the « left-behinds » turkish series are the programs in orange at the left side of the graph, composing the big orange curve. Those programs get a very low audience (less than 10% on the x axis) but are massively produced ! That fact seems quite paradoxical but could be seen as an effect of the inflation of the tv series production – the so-called « Yesilcam » era for tv series. It could be explained by the will of producing more and more series, hoping one of them gets good rates. Series being the most successful way to have audience, more producers invent series concepts. Logically this « liberal » way to produce generates more offer than demand, and we can imagine half of series production has just succeeded in starting but not lasting. This could be the dark side of series production : the inflation of ideas and careers left behind because of their lack of capacity to get audiences.
The previous graphs were more dealing about the repartition of the whole programming between various typologies, without precising on which channels they were broadcasted.
The next graph shows how every channel compose its own grid of programs.
The next graph shows the numbers of TV programs rated from 1st to 10th, classified by channels.
There is another way, perhaps more explicit, to show those figures using the percentages.
Reading the graph : On the 18 channels presents in the AGB Nielsen datas, only 4 are getting more than 80% of the 10th first rates. So, if we trust AGB sources, the spectators are mostly watching ATV (in blue), KanalD (orange), Show TV (clear blue) and Star TV (pink). It’s also good to notice in the margin that TRT is treated differently by AGB Nielsen since 200…
The interesting fact showed by these numbers is the constance of this repartition in the 10th first rates.
Another important factors of the composition of broadcasting are the cycles of programs typologies choices within a day, within a week, or within a year. The time factor is a complex data to compute on a day-by-day database.
The two next graphics shows clear cycles on year-scale illustrations :
Reading the graphs : every summer (between june and august) since 2005 registers a clear decrease of audience. We could also note that turkish series (in blue) gets most of the highest rates the whole year compared to other programs, as we can see by the « clouds » of high rates.
The serie of the next three graphics focuses on turkish series programmation and their periodicity by month :
Turkish series analysis by month, year of programmation and audience scores - quantities (click to get a full view)
Reading the graphs : As we’ve seen before, the summer period could be considered as an empty one for series. But here the curves for all audiences scores and 10th first audiences scores are very different : as the total of programs broadcasted is merely stable the whole year (just february, march and june registering a light decrease), the curve of best scores is much more flexible and increase from january to march. We could input that to a big difference of strategy of diffusion between series in general and series gaining the first 10th scores. Perhaps after a couple of month of tests, the less competing series are ended at the benefit of the other, then more broadcasted
Furthermore the last graph shows the increase of serie’s diffusion from 2005 to 2010 in the absolute, with two years having real particularities : 2008 (the month of August for first audience score shows a peak) and 2010 (the absolute quantities of series broadcasted for all scores and for the first score).
The next graph focuses on a week-scale analysis, showing the percentages of programs broadcasted by their typology every day.
Typologies by weekdays (%) (click for a full view)
Reading the graph : Once more we can see the importance of turkish series in the grid compared to other kinds. Series are mostly working-days programs, the saturday and sunday gaining good audiences with other kinds of programs like TV games. For instance the mondays, the first 10th best audiences are usually generated by turkish series (50%), then by newscasts (25%), and the rest stays under 10% or less.
LIMITS AND CONCLUSIONS :
To be understood clearly, I wanted to precise I tried to keep in mind during this study that the figures given by AGB Nielsen should be taken with many precautions : first because of the different complaints opposing AGB and the government on the accusation of manipulating the datas, and secondly because of the absence of another major channels like TRT. So it’s clear AGB figures doesn’t have to be taken as a reflect of the reality of the audience, but as a tool inside the TV production chain.
Taking in consideration those limits the interest of this database lies anyway in the possibility to show how the different program typologies, the channels, the schedule of broadcasting and the ratings are interrelated, constituting a field in a Bourdieusian way to speak. To complete those diagrams by a field analysis, a factorial correspondance analysis would be necessary and should be the main topic of a next article.
As a first conclusion it’s obvious to say turkish series have a strategical importance in the channel’s capacity to get audience, and mechanically to get revenues from advertisement. More than strategical it’s nowadays the first kind of program getting best audiences. This capacity reveals interesting characteristics of the TV production for private medias in Turkey : even if in Turkey the topics of series are very dependent with local cultures and so differentiate production from US, the logic of « market » and the inflation effects related are similar.
A second conclusion to this article would be the help those analysis gave to give more precision to my phd thesis. It’s one thing to know that generally tv series are important in the television panorama, it’s another to be able to give precise datas about it. Furthermore, crossing those reflexions with previous ones, those analysis allow me to choose with more arguments a reduced panel of channels (ATV, SHOW, KANAL D and STAR TV) being the channels whiches are in the same time major producers of TV shows, and the most dependent on audiences rates in their capacity to attract advertisement funding.
A partir des données recueillies sur Internet puis croisées, j’ai pu créer quelques graphiques montrant l’évolution de la production turque de séries télévisées entre 1970 et 2010. Les données seront prochainement disponibles sous forme de tableau excel sur ce site.
Quelques précisions et précautions : sur mon échantillon de base désagrégé (soit 1694 titres de séries recensées), une grande partie n’est pas encore totalement renseignée. En effet il me manque parfois soit l’année de production, soit la maison de production, soit le canal de diffusion, voire les trois. Le travail présenté dans ce billet est donc toujours en cours d’évolution et sera peut-être caduque une fois que l’ensemble de ces 1694 séries sera totalement renseignées.
De plus les données qui sont illustrées ici ne représentent que les années où ont été « lancés » ces titres : ces graphiques ne tiennent donc pas en compte les séries qui continuent d’une année sur l’autre (telles que Kurtlar Vadisi ou Muhteşem Yüzyıl) ou les taux d’audience. Prendre en compte ces aspects demandent de récupérer d’autres types de données, et ce par d’autres méthodes (ces chantiers sont en cours).
Pour ces raisons je ne m’aventurerai pas à tirer des conclusions à cette étape, si ce n’est pour remarquer ou questionner des grandes tendances.
Sources croisées : sinematurk.com / diziler.com / dizimizi.com / imdb.com
Données recueillies grâce à RapidMiner.
Note concernant le graphique n°1 : le pic de l’année 2000 est soit intéressant soit suspect. Il peut s’agir soit d’une erreur dans les sources, soit d’une réelle « explosion » de la production. La question reste en suspens. On observe aussi un léger recul de la production entre 2008 et 2010.
Note concernant le graphique n°2 : il s’agit de courbes empilées. L’intitulé « autres (<8) » correspond aux chaînes ayant diffusé moins de 8 titres de séries sur l’ensemble de la période étudiée. Le recul entre 2007 et 2010 est lui aussi à prendre avec précaution : erreur des sources ou effet réel ? De même il est impossible que la Fox (aka TGRT) ait diffusé des programmes avant 1993, date de son lancement. On en conclura qu’un nouveau nettoyage des sources est donc ici nécessaire, d’autant que l’échantillon ne couvre qu’environ un tiers de l’ensemble des séries recensées (1694 titres).
Note concernant le graphique n°3 : comme pour le précédent graphique l’intitulé « autres (<15) » correspond aux maisons de production ayant produit moins de 15 titres de séries sur l’ensemble de la période étudiée. Entre 2005 et 2010, on notera que presque la moitié de la production est produite par des petites maisons de production (classées comme « autres (<15) »). Enfin on notera que l’échantillon ne couvre lui aussi qu’un peu plus d’un tiers de l’ensemble des séries recensées (1694 titres).
Note concernant le graphique n°4 : ce graphique reprend les données du graphique précédent à ceci près qu’il ne comptabilise pas les maisons de production ayant produit moins de 15 titres de séries entre 1970 et 2010. Il permet d’observer une évolution allant de situations de quasi monopole dans les années 70 de quelques grands producteurs (nationaux comme la TRT), à une fragmentation de la production répartie entre une quinzaine de producteurs plus ou moins importants aujourd’hui.
« Turkey’s Supreme Board of Radio and Television, or RTÜK, has launched a pilot study of the long duration of serial episodes in Turkey, addressing complaints from viewers.
“Our institution considers viewers’ concerns, rather than just those of broadcasters, bringing new regulations to address their demands as well,” said RTÜK Chairman Davut Dursun, according to an Anatolia news agency Sunday report. »
« TURKEY— The Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT) has thrown the Turkish TV industry into turmoil with plans to withdraw its channels from the ratings system run by AGB Nielsen, which is commissioned by joint industry committee TIAK.
News of the withdrawal came in a statement published in Turkish, a translation of which was carried by online news site Today’s Zaman.
In its statement, the broadcaster expressed dissatisfaction with the system, having seen its ratings drop consistently since April 2009.
TRT also reiterated claims it had made previously that TIAK had violated the country’s competition regulations. AGB Nielsen was similarly accused by TRT, however the Turkish Competition Board decided in November that there was no evidence or documents to support the allegations that AGB Nielsen was “exploiting its dominant position in ratings measurement by irregularities and false measurements”.(…) »
« The Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT) announced yesterday that its channels will no longer be included in audience measurements provided by AGB Nielsen Media Research, which has been conducting TV audience research in Turkey since 1989.
TRT officials said in a written statement that the Television Audience Research Commission (TİAK), the joint industry committee responsible for awarding the contract for managing Turkey’s TV audience measurement system, has violated competition regulations.(…) »
« TURKEY— The Turkish Competition Board (RK) will not be investigating AGB Nielsen over allegations that the firm exploited its position as the country’s dominant TV ratings provider.
A preliminary investigation launched in September by RK found no evidence or documents to support allegations that “AGB Nielsen was exploiting its dominant position in ratings measurement by irregularities and false measurements”.(…) »
« TURKEY— AGB Nielsen and Turkey’s TV audience measurement body, TÍAK, have launched a legal investigation after some members of Nielsen’s TV panel reported being offered money to change their viewing habits.
TNS will establish a 3,500 household panel, with each home fitted with the 5000 Series Modular PeopleMeter. The panel will begin reporting data from 2011 and TNS’s InfoSys software will be used for analysis.
In a statement, AGB Nielsen’s Turkey MD Craig Johnson said the firm was “naturally disappointed” to lose the contract, but vowed to “continue to work hard to deliver high quality data and service” until the hand-over date.(…) »
« TURKEY— AGB Nielsen and Turkey’s TV audience measurement body, TÍAK, have launched a legal investigation after some members of Nielsen’s TV panel reported being offered money to change their viewing habits.
Craig Johnson, AGB Nielsen’s managing director in Turkey, told Researchthat some families said they were offered up to 300 Lira a month (approximately £130) to watch certain programmes and switch off during advert breaks.
He said: “We were alerted by one of our households on 10 April that they had been contacted by a third party. We don’t know who this third party is and we’re not going to speculate. We’re going through the due legal process to identify them.”(…) »