TRAI, which had recently come up with recommendations for policy guidelines regarding television audience measurement/ TRPs, has said that industry body Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) should function as a self-regulatory organisation for television audience measurement and ratings for broadcasters in India.
In its recommendations on television ratings released on August 19, TRAI had said that the BARC could have two nominees from the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting on its board, and the body would be responsible for audience measurement rating of television programmes.
The telecom regulator said, “The Authority is of the view that Government intervention in the form of an enactment is not desirable at this stage. Therefore, self-regulation through the industry-led BARC has been recommended with Government guidelines covering BARC’s organisational structure, functioning and methodology. BARC can be recognised as the institutional framework.”
BARC is expected to start work by January 2009 by inviting bids from rating agencies. Once the work starts, BARC will sign a memorandum of understanding with the Information and Broadcasting Ministry for its organisational structure. The MoU will guide and define the role of BARC as well as the Government as far TRPs go. This move by TRAI will help in monitoring TRP by rating agencies.
The I&B Ministry would provide key eligibility norms for the selection of rating agencies and their performance obligation norms. The BARC would also have to provide information and reports to the Ministry as and when it requires.
BARC is an umbrella organisation, formed by leading industry associations of the advertising sector in September last year to oversee and control the television audience measurement system in India. It is a non-profit organisation registered as a company with a nominal share capital contributed equally by the Indian
Society of Advertisers, the Indian Broadcasting Foundation and the Advertising Agencies Association of India.
TRAI has claimed that its recommendations broadly reflected the expectations of stakeholders.
For details of TRAI’s recommendations please read:
TRAI moots more teeth for BARC to guide and supervise various processes of TV audience ratings
TRAI suggests self-regulation in ratings; some recommendations differ