TNS Media Research has been awarded a three-year contract to develop the first audience measurement system for the pay TV industry.

Multiview will begin in late 2009 and will use an audience measurement service that uses ‘Return Path Data’ technology to collect data from set top boxes.

The Multiview service will comprise a representative panel of 10,000 households recruited and maintained by TNS Australia from the AUSTAR and FOXTEL subscriber databases. It will measure digital TV services carried on the operators’ platforms and offer a national overview of subscription TV.

Information reported from Multiview will include live viewing and other activities such as time shift viewing, high definition channels, interactive services and video on demand services.

The data will be automatically collected without relying on viewers to actively record their actions, and will include all aspects of viewer behaviour including play back and skipping through ads.

 “Our partnership marks our commitment to gain new insights into the viewing and behaviour of audiences in subscription TV homes. In addition, the services will provide greater accountability to advertisers across our platforms in areas such as target audiences and interactive advertising,” said Ian Garland, who will be leading Multiview Analytics.