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BARC ‘finally ready to bark’

12-July-2010
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BARC ‘finally ready to bark’

Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) is finally looking like a reality.

The Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF) has formally registered the Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) as a not for profit body under Section 25 of the Companies Act, 1956. Preliminary clearance has been received from the concerned authorities. BARC shall operate and function on the lines of UK-based Broadcaster’s Audience Research Board (BARB). The primary objective of BARC is to conduct and commission market research using appropriate research methodologies, to provide accurate, up to date and relevant findings relating to broadcast audiences, including TV Ratings, in a transparent, sustainable and objective manner.

BARC has been set up as a joint industry effort with IBF and the Indian Society of Advertisers (ISA) as its primary members. It is a 60:40 venture in favour of IBF. The Board of the Council shall initially comprise seven members – four members from the IBF and three members from the ISA. The chairman of the Board will be nominated by the IBF. The IBF and ISA will nominate the Board of directors and the technical committee members over the next few months.

Speaking to exchange4media, Punit Goenka, IBF Board member and MD, Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd, said, “There will be a CEO and a full time management that would be running BARC, because none of us can quit our jobs to undertake that role. Apart from that, there will be a whole technical committee, which will again comprise independent members of the industry as well as experts from the research world, thus forming dedicated team.”

Goenka further elaborated, “I think the biggest thing is that we have modeled it on the lines of BARB, which is a UK-based agency for audience measurement. It is a three-step process, involving first of all the establishment survey, followed by an agency giving them recommendations on the sample size for metering homes and a third agency will actually analyse the data. So, I think from that perspective it is a far more independent, transparent and robust system that will help the entire process of audience measurement.”

The three-tier process for audience measurement by BARC is as follows:

BARC Audience Measurement Blueprint 2010: Through its proposed measurement service, BARC will cover channels broadcasting across platforms – Terrestrial, Cable & Satellite, DTH – in analog and digital. Developing, new platforms such as IPTV, Mobile TV and so on shall also be addressed appropriately, taking into account industry feedback and requirements. BARC shall put forth an ‘Audience Measurement Blueprint’ for audience measurement in India. The blueprint shall capture key concerns, requirements and a proposed roadmap to the new measurement service.

Establishment Study: BARC shall undertake appropriate baseline and establishment studies to address the key concerns and requirements on such areas as representativeness of sample, sampling, methodology, panel design, to name a few. The subsequent design of the panel would be proportionate to the population with improved geographic representation of audiences, demographics and geographies across urban and rural India. BARC would be setting high standards with regard to the confidentiality of the panel, panel design, panel recruitment, operation, fieldwork by contractors, quality control, data processing and audit of the measurement system.

Contracting for audience Measurement: BARC shall contract one or more specialist research vendors identified through an extensive, open, transparent competitive bidding process, to undertake various parts of the research activities for a pre-defined period while ensuring the objectives are fulfilled and quality maintained in the process. One or more Request for Proposals (RFP) shall be floated for the purpose of inviting bids from specialist vendors for these activities.

Goenka added here, “TAM and aMAP are potential vendors for BARC, so they could come and bid for actually doing the research as per the norms set up by BARC.”

On Government involvement, Goenka affirmed, “We believe it is an industry matter and once the two primary constituents, that is, the broadcasters and advertisers, are involved in this, there is no reason for the Government to be involved directly.”

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