BARC’s blueprint for audience measurement to be ready by March-end

MUMBAI:  A blueprint for India’s own architecture for measuring television viewership is likely to be ready by the end of next month.

Broadcast Audience Research Council has started the process of having in place the design for the last of the pieces required to build a television viewership ratings infrastructure and be able to start churning audience measurement data from October 2014.

BARC on 13 February issued a request for proposals for Playout Monitoring and Database Measurement designs, which is the last of the pieces necessary for having in place a television audience measurement system.

"Our (technical and commercial) committees will go through the proposals and decide the vendor. We intend to close the entire process by March-end," BARC CEO Partho Dasgupta told

Explaining the role of Playout Monitoring, Dasgupta said, "The household panel component is designed to generate data of ‘who’ is watching and ‘what’ is being viewed. ‘Who’ defines the audience that is viewing TV at any point in time. ‘What’ is the channel that is being viewed at that particular point in time."

BARC has already appointed French audience measurement company Médiamétrie as it's ratings technology partner and will be using audio watermarking technology for generating information on television viewership.

"The signals coming into a panel home are captured and relayed (along with the viewership data) to the server. It is necessary to have an independent playout monitoring system which checks the actual telecast of each channel, captures the content at every point in time, and links it back to the ‘what’ part of the audience measurement system," he added.

Playout Monitoring and Database Management, according to Dasgupta, measures, maps and creates a ‘time-accurate’ database of all creative, commercial, promotional and any other content telecast on different TV channels.

BARC has laid down several criteria for the prospective bidder for Playout Monitoring and Database Measurement design. These include:

•Software solution to download, store and map all content of the channels to be monitored


•Ability to deliver the content files within 4-5 hours of day-end


• Infrastructure of any solution to download and view/monitor channels and of data centres for mapping and storing content.


• Apart from the above, the bidders would also need to demonstrate their capability in other infrastructure, human resources and security systems for mapping and storing data and software. 


BARC had on 2 February issued RFPs for Design, Quality Control and Analytics. "The response for the RFP has been very encouraging. We have received responses from organisations and specialists from India and across the world, including USA and Europe," said Dasgupta. 

BARC is running on aggressive timelines.  "We intend to close this process also by March-end," he concluded.

BARC had set the ball rolling for installing a television viewership measurement system in January 2013. It had then called for information on state-of-the art television audience measurement systems from players across the globe.

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