BARC meets industry in Kolkata; suggests third vendor

KOLKATA: The Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) has clarified that its technical committee's evaluation panel plans to appoint three vendors (read three, not two as reported by us on 7 August (Evaluation of RFPs for BARC to be held from 14 August). The first is the technical partner, the second is the panel management partner and the third will conduct the establishment study for the proposed new television ratings system. BARC has announced that the new TV ratings systems should start spewing out viewership ratings by May or June of 2014. The committee, as reported earlier by, had earlier accepted applications from 27 organisations, of the 32 RFP responses that it had received.

Once the new TV ratings system is in place, the industry body will also float another tender for a fourth vendor for taking up quality and analytics studies.

BARC TechComm member Paritosh Joshi made this clarification at the third of its open houses held in Kolkata on Thursday.

20 professionals representing broadcasters, advertisers and agencies attended the meet hosted in which BARC shared the progress it has made so far. Zee Entertainment Enterprises, Havas Media, Zee Media, BPN India and TV Today were amongst the media companies that turned up in the Kolkata leg of BARC's national city roadshow exercise to connect with industry. BARC CEO Partho Dasgupta and vice president Mubin Khan were also present to interact with industry.

"The priority for now is getting the best and biggest vendors. We are currently ensuring that metering, establishment and technology contracts are well managed," says Dasgupta.

The fourth vendor for quality and analysis will take time and Joshi said BARC might get into the selection process in November.

Havas Media senior general manger Raj Dutta, who was a part of the roadshow says, "I was expecting something new. Things were presented in a sketchy format. There is not much clarity about the rural audience. However with different organisations engaged in the measurement system, there would be complete transparency."

BPN India executive vice president Mahesh Motwani added, "Given the technological advances, the time was right for this initiative. It will map the diverse and rapidly changing Indian media landscape and provide a deeper connect and understanding of the consumer to Indian television."

Regional broadcasters have for long been pushing for an independent audience measurement system. "This will help them improve their bottom-line, going forward," say media analysts. "With robust measurement and data, all genres and languages can expect a boost as far as media planners understanding of consumption of their content is concerned."

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