MBC keen to join UAE people meter

First phase of project includes select state-owned firms only.
Mazen Hayek, official spokesperson, MBC Group.
Mazen Hayek, official spokesperson, MBC Group.

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MBC has said it is keen to join the UAE National Media Council’s (NMC) people meter project, which was announced last month.

The NMC scheme will initially begin with Abu Dhabi Media Company (ADMC), Sharjah Media and Etisalat signed on as broadcasters with the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) and the NMC implementing the system.

Earlier this year a meeting between all parties and Dubai Media Inc. took place ahead of the announcement of the scheme.

The region’s largest free to air broadcaster, MBC, is not part of the scheme but has signalled its eagerness to join as soon as possible.

“When the NMC decide to open it up to regional satellite broadcasters as well as local media we will definitely be involved,” said Mazen Hayek, official spokesperson for the MBC Group, speaking exclusively to DPME.com.

“I think they are taking a phased approach to it. MBC has been involved in the plans from day zero. The company was part of the discussions with the consultants, we have been very supportive of the whole process.

“When MBC joins is just a detail. As long as it is happening in the UAE the company will be supportive,” added Hayek.

The UAE represents around six percent of the MENA ad spend according to Hayek who warns that the industry should not overplay the effect that a people meter will have on the advertising industry.

“Advertising is a function of the economic activity. There are several examples of market that don’t have people meters seeing advertising grow. On the other hand there are examples in other countries were people meters were implemented but advertising was shrinking due to the economic activity,” he warns. “People meters are necessary but they will not grow the industry on their own.”

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