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Prasar Bharti Chief attributes low ratings to lack of rural coverage

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Prasar Bharti Chief attributes low ratings to lack of rural coverage

BARC has been at the centre of news ever since its launch. It was seen as an alternative currency system to TAM, that would provide deeper insights into the measurement ecosystem. However, it has raised a cause of concern for Prasar Bharati CEO Jawhar Sircar.

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Talking to exchange4media, Prasar Bharati, CEO, Jawhar Sircar said, “BARC does not cover 40% of the universe that is mainly rural. Once it covers whole of India, the result may be different.”

He also added, “Over the last 3 years, DD's 'Must Carry Channels' have been systematically removed by many LCOs and MSOs from the prime band or from the top of the genre to obscure corners of the EPG/bouquet. This has gone unpunished because the only effective action against it can be taken by revoking or show-causing them on the licenses, which the Ministry of I&B can do.”

He also highlighted that the existing provision to go and complain at the local level has never worked and therefore, licensing conditions have to be addressed and they are repeatedly requesting the Ministry to do so.

He concluded by saying, “If DD programmes are not in view, where will the TRPs come from?”

In response to that BARC CEO, Partho Dasgupta said, “Presently BARC is releasing data of Urban markets with 1 lakh and above population. The less than 1 lakh urban and rural markets are yet to be released, which we are expecting to report in September.” 

Earlier Prasar Bharati filed a petition, citing monopolistic exercise and incorrect illustration of data on Doordarshan’s coverage in the ratings. The public broadcaster had filed the petition around September 2012, which led Competition Commission of India to intervene and they asked TAM to submit a report.

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