AGB Nielsen Media Research Philippines on Wednesday identified GMA-7 as the television network being linked to bribery attempts to unduly influence TV ratings being harvested by the research firm in Bacolod City.
In an interview, AGB Nielsen general manager Maya Reforma said an informant revealed that it was GMA-7 that allegedly funded an operation to bribe metered homes in Bacolod City to watch GMA shows and influence the ratings.
Reforma said GMA-7 conducted promotional activities in Bacolod City to increase viewership for the network. She added that the research firm has yet to confirm if the activities influenced TV ratings in the area.
She said there was no reason for the research firm to stop the ratings surveys since the tampering could be an isolated incident.
Last week, ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corp. sued AGB Nielsen Media Research Philippines for continuing to release possibly tainted nationwide TV ratings despite information that metered households used to gauge the ratings might have been bribed.
"The Filipino people and the entire media industry deserve to know the truth. We in ABS-CBN have discovered what can only be viewed as a systematic, organized and well funded attempt to cheat in the ratings," ABS-CBN Chairman and CEO Eugenio Lopez III said in a statement.
Vivian Tin, ABS-CBN Research and Business Analysis chief, said ABS-CBN informed AGB Nielsen Media Research Philippines last November 20 about the bribery attempts and urged the research agency "to stop the release of erroneous data, check their panel nationwide and resume release only when they can guarantee the integrity of the data."
She said the network filed a P63 million civil suit against AGB Nielsen after it continued to release the weekly TV ratings even after the informant met with AGB Nielsen officials. "They did go with the informant and he did show them the homes. According to the informant, the homes that he showed them were verified to be AGB Nielsen homes," she told reporters at 9501 restaurant.
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