The Ministry of Information & Broadcasting constituted Committee’s recommendations have found widespread acceptance in the broadcaster community. Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd’s CEO, Punit Goenka, who is also spearheading BARC (Broadcast Audience Research Council), reiterated that there was no reason for the Council to not meet the stipulated June 2011 deadline.
In a conversation with exchange4media, Goenka said, “I do not think BARC should have problems in meeting the deadline, as long as the recommendations are in line with the thought process that the IBF (Indian Broadcasting Foundation) and the ISA (Indian Society of Advertisers) have been discussing in the past few months.”
It may be recalled that one of the recommendations of the report was “The Committee has recommended that there should be a 12-member Board in BARC, constituting seven members from broadcasters, including the Public Service Broadcaster, three members from advertisers and two members from advertising agencies, including Directorate of Advertising and Visual Publicity (DAVP).”
“The Committee has recommended constitution of a High Powered Committee within BARC to guide BARC in the area of research, design and analysis...”
The suggested High Powered Committee is similar to the Technical Committee that BARC has been working on.
Goenka explained that the report of the Committee would be studied by the IBF and discussed at the Board at the earliest available opportunity. He said, “IBF and ISA have made progress on the structuring of BARC and will continue to work towards delivering the next generation of TV Audience Measurement in the shortest possible time.”
Once this is in place, BARC would be able to fructify the Board and High Powered Committee in line with the MIB’s TRP Committee recommendation.
Different Rate Cards for Different Data Users
Goenka explained that even though the lion’s share of research today was borne by broadcasters, advertisers and agencies too were already paying for research. An important point that he brought forward, replying in context to the Committee’s recommendation that advertisers and agencies needed to pay a percentage of their turnover, was of different rate card for different users. He divulged, “BACR would be funded in proportion to shareholding of IBF and ISA in BARC. BARC would develop a rate card for the industry for accessing the research, which may be different for different stakeholders.”
Goenka is in sync with the Committee’s recommendation of releasing data on a weekly or even a fortnightly basis. He elaborated, “If you look at the biggest medium in India today, which is of print, newspaper research comes once in six months, now three months. I am not suggesting TV should move to that, but the more frequently the data comes out, it creates that much more volatility in the market amongst the broadcasters agencies and advertisers.”
As is known, if BARC fails to meet the June 2011 deadline, “the MIB’s TRP Committee may invoke Government action through appropriate legislation such as taking over the regulation of TRP measurement either by asking TRAI to step in or by creating other mechanisms”. To this, Goenka said, “If the industry fails to come together on an issue as important as this and take necessary steps in time, we cannot expect the government to stay silent and watch.”
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