BARC initiates process for new TV ratings system

Last Updated: Thu, Jan 17, 2013 20:16 hrs

The Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC), the audience research measurement body formed by broadcasters, has taken the first major step in the direction of building a more robust television ratings measurement system.

BARC has issued a global request for information (RFI), seeking ideas, templates and experiences on television audience measurement that will help BARC blueprint a new TV audience measurement system. The responses have to be submitted to BARC by February 5.

"BARC is committed to building a television audience measurement system that becomes ipso facto the Gold Standard in its class worldwide,” said Punit Goenka, chairman of BARC and managing director and chief executive officer of Zee Entertainment Enterprises.

Given that BARC addresses a population of over 1 billion, of which over 600 million have access to television in some form, I am confident that BARC will settle for nothing less than being the best

Added Shashi Sinha, chairman-TechComm, BARC and CEO of Lodestar UM: “At various times, more than one vendor has attempted to provide audience measurement, but from 2002, TAM Media Research (a joint venture of Nielsen and Kantar) has been the de facto provider of the measurement. It’s clear that legacy architecture of the system, that has evolved incrementally, is now ready for seminal change. However, what is not clear is the contours of the new system, which BARC aims to define.”

Television audience measurement in India has been around for nearly three decades. Beginning with a simple diary-based system in the early 1980s covering Doordarshan, then the state-owned monopoly broadcaster, it evolved parallel to the evolution of the Indian television market. By the mid-1990s, it was already covering satellite television and in the early part of this century, India was one of the earliest television markets to have a pure peoplemeter-based system.

BARC is aware of a number of technologies at varying stages of development that promise non-intrusive or minimally intrusive viewership measurement. The body is also aware of developments in the area of integrated media consumption metrics, it said.

All these are of interest to the architecture of the future system in India. BARC expects respondents to incorporate their own experiences in these areas as items of emphasis in the response to this RFI, it said.

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