Ratings/research company Nielsen Co. has filed a motion with the New York State Supreme Court to dismiss the nearly $1 billion breach of contract and negligence lawsuit brought against
it by New Delhi Television, an Indian TV network.
The suit, filed earlier this year, centers on an Indian TV ratings company called TAM that is owned jointly by Nielsen and WPP subsidiaries. Nielsen argued that India was the appropriate venue for a lawsuit, not New York. WPP, which filed a separate request to dismiss the suit in August, also joined the Nielsen petition.
The NDTV suit alleges that ratings service TAM has issued incorrect TV viewing data for years, costing the network hundreds of millions of dollars in lost advertising. The suit also alleged that Nielsen and WPP knew about the problems and failed to take meaningful action to correct them.
In its motion to dismiss, Nielsen stated that NDTV has been a continuous subscriber to the TAM ratings service since 1998 and claims to have evidence of flawed data from the service dating to at least 2004. Now, at least eight years after having alleged knowledge of inaccurate ratings, the Indian TV network has inappropriately sued Nielsen and several uninvolved subsidiaries “asserting a grab bag of irrational and defective claims apparently under New York state law.”
Nielsen also argued that NDTV failed to name TAM itself -- the entity it actually has a contract with for ratings services -- as a party to the suit. Nielsen asserts that NDTV “viciously attacks TAM’s reputation and seeks damages” and should not be allowed to suppress TAM’s right to defend itself “by bringing a lawsuit in another country where TAM has no contracts.”
NDTV’s complaint, concluded Nielsen, “blatantly ignores” the company with which it directly does business.
“Instead, NDTV attempts to transform a potential contract claim against TAM into tort and oral contract claims against the Nielsen defendants. Nothing in the law supports such a magic trick.”