BARC India Board meets, but no decision on landing page row

Lack of quorum could have been one reason why no vital decisions were taken at the meeting, according to an industry insider

by Tasmayee Laha Roy
Published - Jul 5, 2019 7:47 AM Updated: Jul 5, 2019 7:47 AM
BARC

Looks like the row over landing page and outlier policy is here to say. What could have been a decision-making meeting, failed to resolve the debate around whether television ratings should include landing page viewership count or not. Even as the BARC India board met on Thursday to discuss the issues, industry insiders in the know of the matter confirm that there was no decision taken about the landing page controversy.

Sources said that there was no concrete discussion on the landing page issue that has been harrowing broadcasters ever since TDSAT's order set aside TRAI's directive on landing pages. Lack of quorum could have been one reason why no vital decisions were taken at the meeting, said an industry insider.

BARC India has been in the limelight ever since the TDSAT order legalised investments in landing page towards the end of May 2019.  The landmark judgment, which came as a breath of fresh air for broadcasters and distributors of television channels, has its own predicaments. Soon after the order was passed, BARC India notified it would include the ratings of channels placed on landing page in its weekly ratings data. Then came the first weekly data after the order was passed. Not many took the rating in their stride as it clearly started a new trend. Following a fresh round of debates and discussions, BARC India went back to the old rating formula where there was rationalisation of numbers. Under the rationalisation formula, any abnormal reach is considered outlier and rationalised and moderated by BARC, assuming it came from landing pages. News channels differed on opinion even as BARC switched back to rationalising outliers.

Following a series of debate and discussion raised by broadcasters, a two-member committee was also appointed by the board of the joint industry body to review and monitor BARC’s outlier policy, but nothing concrete has been updated yet about the committee’s operations.

Appointment of a special committee followed by a board meeting clearly shows that BARC India is working hard to put an end to this controversy of landing pages, but nothing seems to be working in their favour at the moment.

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