In all the action that has transpired between the TRAI and the industry over the recommendation on ratings, and the divide over Government intervention and the suggestion of self-regulation in ratings, media has given little attention to the fact that Chintamani Rao is the industry-appointed man to spearhead BARC (Broadcast Audience Research Council) as its Chairman. BARC, as is known, is the custodian of the next generation ratings that the Indian broadcasting audience measurement is set to see.
Speaking on this industry decision, Jawahar Goel, President, Indian Broadcasting Federation (IBF), explained, “This was a board decision and Chinta is one of the few people who ensure that they are always available for any of the initiatives of the industry. He was an apt choice for the work that BARC has ahead of it.”
In fact, a lot has been lined up at the BARC. The first is to ensure that the BARC secretariat is in place so that there are officers who are dedicated to the BARC cause full time. Also, there is industry pressure for the BARC to be instituted by January 2009, which means that the groundwork for BARC establishment needs to begin already.
As is known, the industry has set aside an amount of Rs 2 crore for setting up BARC. A significant portion of this investment is coming from IBF members as an advance that would be adjusted in later stages. To be able to bring meaningful next generation ratings, the BARC indeed is a lot of responsibility, and that puts quite a bit on Rao’s plate.