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Broadcasters feel BARC could solve TV viewership concerns

India TV News Desk 10 Aug 2012, 21:24:50 PM IST
India TV News Desk
New Delhi, Aug 10: The Broadcasting industry is deliberating on ways to measure television viewership in the wake of Prasar Bharati expressing dissatisfaction over alleged under-representation of Doordarshan's viewership and news channel NDTV's lawsuit against TAM Media Research. 

Most broadcasters feel that the problems related to television viewership measurement would get solved once the industry's own audience measurement initiative - Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) is fully established.  

Star India CEO and the President of Indian Broadcasting Federation (IBF) Uday Shankar said that work has already started in this direction.

“A lot of the concerns and questions raised over Television ratings would be settled after the establishment of the system under BARC. The process is going on and we need to fast track the process,” Shankar told PTI.  

“There is already an establishment survey being conducted and we are also in talks with the I&B Ministry for the formation of this mechanism,” he added.  

News broadcaster India TV's editor-in-chief Rajat Sharma also backed BARC saying that a more transparent system backed by all stakeholders was the need of the hour.  

“Broadcasters, advertisers and media planners need to come together to evolve a more transparent system of TV ratings. Formation of BARC mooted by the IBF should be expedited,” Sharma said.

“We owe it to the Broadcasting industry,” he added.  Sunil Lulla, CEO of Times Global Broadcasting, said that while the recent developments related to Televising ratings may have brought the subject in focus, the industry was anyways moving towards setting up an alternative system.  

“The industry has been always moving towards a more contemporary, a more robust system of measurement,” Lulla said, adding that he too felt that BARC was the solution.

While most broadcasters say that they look forward towards BARC, there are others who say that they are willing to live with Television Audience Measurement (TAM) ratings for the time being.

“The solution is that BARC has to come in to the picture and there has been some progress in that direction. However at this moment there is a system and we have to live with it,” a senior official, who did not wanted to be named, of a broadcasting company said.

Meanwhile other sections argue that despite the presence of certain problems, some of the criticism that was being levelled at TAM did not hold ground.

“TAM had begun its work in close co-ordination with broadcast industry, the advertisers and other stakeholders.  There have been issues relating to funding but even then TAM panel size is among the top 5 in the world,” an industry source said.

“By the end of 2012, TAM is in any case targeting the coverage to get extended to over 225 towns with 10,000 plus people meter homes and it also announced plans to roll out - Rural India TV Measurement - way back in July, 2010,” the source added.