The Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) is in hectic preparations to meet its October 2014 launch date deadline. However, in an exclusive interview with exchange4media, Partho Dasgupta Chief Executive Officer, BARC India indicated a possible delay of a couple of months in commencement of BARC operations.
As has been reported earlier, BARC has been wholeheartedly welcomed by the TV broadcast industry in light of the dispute between TAM Media and some broadcasters over the rating figures.
Following Dasgupta’s comment about a possible delay in BARC’s commencement, exchange4media spoke to a cross-section of broadcasters to gauge their reactions and also to know whether they see any negative fallout of this delay.
Most broadcasters are not unduly worried about the delay as they feel that TAM is working as an opportunity cost for them at the moment. Moreover, the broadcasters prefer to wait for BARC as long as the service delivers on its promise of a transparent and reliable ratings system.
Sharing his thoughts over the delay, Ashok Venkatramani, CEO, MCCS said, “We all are waiting for communication from BARC. So far, we have nto received any communication from BARC. Whatever we are getting to know, it is from the press. For instance, I have read that BARC has started seeding boxes, but there has been no formal or informal communication from BARC.”
According to MK Anand, CEO and MD, Times Television Network, BARC is a complicated exercise and there is a lot at stake. “It is better that they launch with a stable and good service even if it takes a little extra time,” he commented.
Voicing her opinion, Anurradha Prasad, Chairperson, BAG Network said, “The industry is eagerly waiting for BARC to commence its operations, going by the promise of a good measurement system for the industry. Though none of us are aware of the launch deadline, we are being kept informed about the work in progress on a regular basis.”
Commenting on the likely delay in commencement of BARC, RK Arora, CEO, ITV Network remarked, “There will be no significant impact on the industry as we are already subscribed to TAM and the entire industry is accepting it. With TAM currently handling the entire ratings system, we are willing to wait for BARC to commence its operation.”
Monica Tata, MD, HBO India too felt that a short delay will not matter much and said, “If the delay is till December, it will not make any difference. It all depends on what the level of delay is; until and unless we know the exact date of launch, it will all be subjective.”
She further said, “We have to work with whatever that is out there till the time BARC is ready to deliver.”