Broadcasters’ body seeks BARC Ratings data black out for 2 months: Report

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Indian broadcasters want their weekly performance report – the BARC Rating – to be withheld for up to two months.

If braodcasters in India succeed in their plan and their proposal is accepted, the Broadcast Audience Research Council might not release its weekly audience ratings for Indian television across all genres for up to two months, national business daily Economic Times has reported.

The Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF) members were reportedly finalising a proposal to ask BARC India to suspend ratings for 45-60 days.

The BARC ratings are crucial to ascertain a braodcasters’ success and band pricing. However, the broadcasters’ body, Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF), is reportedly worried about the implications of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s (TRAI) new tariff order, the paper has reported with reference to various “senior executives in top TV networks”.

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The TRAI tariff order, coming into effect from January 1, will allow the viewers to select and pay for the channels of their choice unlike the present practice where braodcasters club the channels and the viewers are made to pay for all.

The new tariff order will make it difficult for the channels with poor viewership to get a push from the popular channels on their broadcast network, states the paper quoting an anonymous broadcast executive, who added that this may cause a disruption and disconnection of many channels.

“There is no clarity on how the new tariff order will be implemented from January 1. Some petitions are still pending in courts and there are a few cable and DTH operators and even broadcasters who are hoping to get a stay order. If not, a lot of channels may get disconnected, which will create discrepancies and anomalies in the viewership data,” a a top executive of one large TV network had told the paper on condition of anonymity.

Another executive said IBF members were reportedly finalising a proposal to ask BARC India to suspend ratings for 45-60 days. “We are working on reaching a consensus on the duration first within the IBF. Once all the members agree, this will be presented to the BARC board in the next board meeting. With the IBF being the majority shareholder of BARC, and some members of the Advertising Agencies Association of India (AAAI) also in agreement, it should not be a problem,” the executive said.

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