BARC updates the I&B ministry on its progress

MUMBAI: The media industry went into a tizzy last week when the union cabinet accepted the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB)'s proposed regulatory framework for television rating agencies in India. 

The most affected from this entire episode is the Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) as the pressure is building up on them to speed up the process and bring the new system for TV ratings in to place. 

Hence, BARC board members met the MIB to present an update on the progress made so far. As per a highly placed source, the council members told the Ministry that the pilot testing has already begun. “There will be three-four phases of these testing sessions before the work officially starts.” 

Elaborating the phases, the source remarks: “Firstly, the entire ratings system has to be tested how well the equipments work with the Indian technology and ecosystem. Secondly, we will have to see if all the elements are aligned properly. Thirdly, how accurate is the data collected; and lastly, the overall panel design.” 

Another source reveals that the Ministry has been informed that the council will start signing contracts soon. “BARC is partnering with around six to seven tech organisations to complete the process,” the source claims.

When asked about the Ministry’s reaction on the update, the council’s chairman of the technical committee Shashi Sinha says, “The Ministry is happy with the progress we are making and even we are happy with the way things are shaping up.”

BARC has organised a press conference on 20 January in Mumbai to discuss further progress.

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