BARC is considering TRAI's request to publish viewership data, in talks with stakeholders

TRAI had asked BARC to publish the weekly data immediately on the website

e4m by Moumita Bhattacharjee
Updated: Feb 26, 2019 11:26 AM

Telecom Authority of India (TRAI) recently asked Broadcast Audience Research Council to publish the viewership data on their website immediately. BARC has been sending the weekly data to its subscribers and not putting it up on the website citing ‘TRAI's new tariff order and on-ground changes’ as the reason. The latest directive by TRAI is making BARC take ‘a considered view on that post consultation with stakeholders’.  
BARC India spokesperson told exchange4media, “TRAI has advised us that we should also consider resuming the display of top channels and programs data on our website. We are taking a considered view on that post consultation with our stakeholders.”   

Explaining further, BARC India spokesperson said, “We also publish a limited amount of data on our website - intended only for larger benefit and information of trade and media. We temporarily held back the release of this select headline data on our website. We did this purely to avoid mis-representation of such data (Top 5 channels/programs etc) without looking at the larger context of NTO rollout and resulting volatility which could be misleading, lead to confusion and be counter-productive.”

BARC India also ‘set the record straight’ here by informing that they have not stopped publishing its viewership data. “Every week, at 11 am sharp, all our subscribers have been getting all India weekly data without a hitch for the last 175 weeks, including the last 2 weeks that correspond to the NTO transition. However, we have published data of last 2 weeks with the caveat that there are changes taking place on ground due to NTO rollout due to which viewership numbers will be volatile during the transition period. The India Society of Advertisers (ISA) too has advised its members that our data should not be used for media planning and buying in the transition period,” the spokesperson revealed. 

BARC also asserted their position is aligned with the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting's guidelines. “The guidelines clearly say that “…data generated by the rating agency be made available, on paid basis, to all interested stakeholders…” And “Sharing of the data/reports with a third party or in public domain be allowed subject to the fair usage policy of the rating agency. Such fair usage policy shall be provided on the website of the rating agency," explains the spokesperson.

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