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NDTV Appeals Against Nielsen Lawsuit Court Dismissal

ndtv_logoNew Delhi Television Ltd (NDTV) has filed an appeal against the New York Court’s dismissal of its lawsuit against Nielsen for the alleged manipulation of TV ratings and viewership data in February 2013, reports LiveMint. NDTV has refused to comment on the matter to the publication while Nielsen has told the publication in an email statement that they cannot comment on it since it is subjudice.

According to the appeal filed by NDTV on May 15, 2013, the company has said that the trial court failed to acknowledge Nielsen New York’s ownership and control of the Nielsen process in India and around the world. It also says that the court erred by disregarding the fact that Nielsen is headquarted with its senior management in New York and thereby wrongly concluded that majority of its defendants were foreign.

In February 2013, the New York Court had dismissed NDTV’s lawsuit against Nielsen on grounds of lack of jurisdiction, however NDTV claims that the court had wrongly concluded that its allegations were against TAM in India, when their allegations was actually against Nielsen New York, for which Indian courts do not have the jurisdiction.

NDTV had originally filed a lawsuit against Nielsen in July 2012, seeking $580 million for gross negligence against TAM and misrepresentations, $810 million for fraud, $125 million for negligence and gross negligence against Nielsen, $125 million for negligence and gross negligence against Kantar, $790 million for breach of contract against TAM, $250 million for prima facie tort against TAM and millions more on various costs including legal fees and punitive damages to be determined by trier of fact during the legal proceedings.

Timeline of the NDTV-Nielsen Lawsuit:

April 2012: NDTV talks with TAM on the manipulation of television ratings.

July 2012: NDTV files lawsuit against Nielsen for alleged manipulation of television ratings.  Do read the NDTV’s whistleblower account which includes details of interactions between NDTV and Nielsen where Nielsen had admitted to inaccuracy and rigging of data and had promised more investment in TAM to improve the process.

August 23, 2012: WPP (parent company of Nielsen) says NDTV’s lawsuit is hypothetical and plans to sue NDTV for defamation. NDTV responded to this statement saying that WPP’s statements were a PR effort and that the case cannot be hypothetical since it is available for public viewing on the website of the Supreme Court of New York.

August 24, 2012: In an interview with Mint, Sir Martin Sorrell, Founder and Chief Executive of WPP Group Plc, said that the lawsuit was not served properly, and that it was a mischief on NDTV’s part. He had alleged that NDTV’s lawyers had called up WPP and had asked if the firm would like to discuss a settlement. He also added that it is NDTV’s attempt to blame TAM for their performance.

August 26, 2012: NDTV had refuted WPP’s claim of asking the firm to discuss a settlement. NDTV also said that Eric Salama, the chief executive of Kantar had sent a confidential mail to NDTV on 8 August, suggesting a meeting to “halt litigation”.

August 27, 2012: WPP refuted NDTV’s claim that WPP is taking Indian market very lightly. WPP further said that they welcome NDTV’s decision to not want to get into a prolonged trial and also clarified about the issue over the interactions on the ‘settlement’ between the two companies.

February 2013: New York Court dismisses NDTV’s lawsuit. NDTV plans to appeal against this decision in the New York Lower Court.

May 2013: NDTV files an appeal against New York Court’s dismissal of NDTV’s lawsuit.

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