Govt to push broadcast council to find solution

Meenakshi Verma Ambwani New Delhi | Updated on August 09, 2012

The Information and Broadcasting Ministry is likely to press the industry stakeholders to put alternative audience measurement mechanisms in place through Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC).

Sources said, “If the industry fails to get BARC functioning, then the Ministry may ask Telecom Regulatory Authority of India to chart the future course of action.” Broadcasters and advertisers have raised issues on the functioning of TAM, the only agency that measures television rating points (TRPs).

This become more evident after NDTV filed a lawsuit against TAM and its parent companies in a New York Court.

The Ministry has not yet received a written complaint on the same though some deliberations on it have happened, sources said.

The Ministry had set up a committee in May 2010 to examine the issues related to measurement of viewership ratings. The TRP committee, which was led by Former FICCI Secretary General, Amit Mitra, had recommended constitution of a high powered committee that would guide BARC in research and analysis among other related issues.

Post the submission of recommendations, the Ministry officials have been asking BARC officials to put in place the mechanisms recommended by the TRP committee.

In a meeting in June, Government officials had expressed their unhappiness over the progress of BARC and its failure to set up the high powered committee. BARC officials were asked to constitute this committee and send a status report giving details about field level research and selection of research agency within a month, which has not been submitted to the Ministry so far, according to sources.

Officials believe if the quality of content is impacted due to inadequate and non transparent audience measurement mechanisms it becomes a matter of concern. According to sources, BARC has not been able to make much progress as advertisers and broadcasters have failed to come on the same page.

Meanwhile, the Advertising Agencies Association of India and Indian Society of Advertisers are expected to have a meeting with TAM officials next week. Prasar Bharati’s board had also said earlier this week that it would be seeking legal opinion and hold discussions with the ministry on the issue of under-reporting of data for Doordarshan by TAM.


Published on August 09, 2012

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