Millennium Post

Barc to broaden TV rating system to include laptops and cell phones

A day after government criticised the present television rating system, the Broadcast Audience Research Council (Barc) said it is planning to measure audio-visual content across platforms such as mobile phones and laptops to offer a more composite study from next year.

“We are moving towards a cross-platform system to measure audio-visual content across platforms such as mobile phones, iPads, laptops, over-the-top platforms to put out a more composite study from next year,” Barc Chief Executive Partho Dasgupta said here on Thursday. “The technology is not so difficult as we have already cracked that, but some companies keep data close to their chest. So we’ve to figure out how we can co-operate with them. We are working towards that,” he said at ‘FICCI Frames’, the annual gathering of media and entertainment industry. Addressing the same event yesterday, Union IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had said he was not impressed with the current TV rating system.

“Television ranking must become fair and researched. I don’t know what happened now. Whatever alternative bodies have come in, I am not impressed by that. How can a few hundred boxes determine which programmes are better and which are not?” Prasad said in his inaugural address at the event. Though he said the government did not want to get involved in the system, he underlined the need for better and more credible methodology of TV ratings. Barc India was set up in 2012 with the specific purpose of designing, commissioning, supervising and owning the television audience measurement system.

It is jointly promoted by three apex industry bodies -- Indian Broadcasting Foundation (60 per cent), Indian Society of Advertisers (20 per cent) and Advertising Agencies Association of India (20 per cent). For around eight months, the new agency co-existed with its predecessor TAM, which had a monopoly on television ratings measurement, and it began reporting weekly data from April 2015. 


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