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Writer: Abid Hasan - Monday, Apr 29,2013 7:00 PM

BARC ratings system may be online by Mar 2014, feels MIB Secy

The much-awaited TV rating system from the Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) is set to see light of day early next year. As shared by Uday Varma, Secretary, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, “I think there is considerable progress on BARC. I had a meeting with BARC officials last and have been assured that the Council will be able to put in place an alternate TV rating system by March 2014.”

It may be recalled that BARC had issued a global Request for Information (RFI) to have an understanding of the state-of-the art in the area of television audience measurement research in particular and audience measurement research in more general terms. However, so far this system hasn’t seen much progress.

Varma noted that BARC will be creating history if it is able to put in place an alternate mechanism. “It will be unique and I don’t think anywhere in the world there exists a body that has broadcasters and ad agencies coming together to create a credible, dependable and transparent television rating system,” he added.

When asked about the Government’s role in this new TRP system, Varma replied, “The Government will intervene in the matter only when people want us to. But the fact remains that we need a television rating system that is much better than what exists today.”

Meanwhile, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) released a consultation paper on TV viewership ratings on April 17, 2013, wherein it is mentioned that the MIB’s role will be an important one, given the controversies surrounding the TRP system in recent years.

“Let us see what TRAI’s recommendations are in this regard. We have asked TRAI to evolve some kind of an accreditation system, which means that we should be able to fulfill certain criteria regarding the number of people meters and other statistical parameters. This will make television rating more transparent and credible,” Varma said.

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