The last few weeks have seen an exodus of broadcasters unsubscribing from TAM, thus leaving a vacant spot as far as television ratings are concerned, giving rise to the need for an alternate measurement system. This is where the Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) steps in.
The Council has witnessed a series of ups and downs ever since the first conversations of such an industry body in 2006-07. After some initial hiccups, the Council is on a set course with a CEO on board and also issuing Request for Proposals (RFPs) to global providers of technology and research earlier this month.
In a latest development, BARC has received 18 RFPs from various organisations for a measurement system as a replacement for TAM. Confirming the news to exchange4media, BARC Chairman Punit Goenka said, “Yes, till now we have received 18 requests from various entities. The process of setting the system in motion is underway now and we are on track to start the full-fledged service around March- April next year.”
When asked how different BARC’s system would be from TAM as well as the sample size, Goenka replied, “We are still getting RFPs from many companies, and once it is completed, we will be able to know on what basis we need to plan out the action and what is the total requirement of people meters.”
He further said, “We are pretty excited and are receiving an overwhelming response.”
When asked if the RFPs have picked up after broadcasters started pulling out of TAM, Goenka said, “There are a few broadcasters who have send the RFPs after unsubscribing from TAM, but we have been getting the RFPs on a frequent basis before that and there is no association with the unsubscription of TAM.”
In an earlier interaction with exchange4media on the functioning of BARC, Uday Varma, Secretary, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, said, “I think there is considerable progress on BARC. I had a meeting with BARC officials last and have been assured that the Council will be able to put in place an alternate TV rating system by March 2014.”
For the record, BARC is a joint industry body set up in India in 2012 with the specific purpose of designing, commissioning, supervising and owning India’s Television Audience Measurement System. BARC is a joint venture bringing together the three key stakeholders in Television Audience Measurement, broadcasters, advertisers and advertising and media agencies.