BARC partners Airtel Digital TV for return path data

MUMBAI: Taking a big step towards using return path data (RPD) for TV viewership measurement, BARC India has tied up with Airtel Digital TV, Airtel’s DTH arm, for including its subscriber homes into the BARC India RPD panel. This partnership will provide a fillip to BARC India’s plan of scaling up panel homes to multiples of the mandated 50,000.

RPD is used globally for collecting viewership data. However, BARC India’s plan to integrate it into the TV viewership currency is a global first. Random selection will be undertaken among the selected RPD homes to include them in the currency panel for the overall Airtel Digital TV universe share in the TV ecosystem.

In October last year, BARC India had signed on multi system operator DEN Networks for measuring TV viewership using RPD. By tying up with Airtel Digital TV, BARC India has added a significant DTH subscriber base to its proposed RPD panel. It will use a portion of Airtel Digital TV’s subscriber base to measure TV viewership via RPD.

The move will not only make BARC India data more robust but will also help address the issue of panel home tampering.

“Our partnership with Airtel Digital TV will strengthen our RPD rollout plan. Panel home expansion is absolutely critical for us considering the diversity in the country which is visible even in the way TV content is consumed. RPD, will give the industry a cost-effective way of expanding panel home size. The distribution platform owners too will benefit with RPD. It will give them a better understanding into what their subscribers are consuming on TV. This will help the industry at large,” said BARC India CBO Romil Ramgarhia.

Bharti Airtel DTH CEO Sunil Taldar said, “We are pleased to partner BARC India and support their endeavour of compiling robust TV viewership insights. A credible resource like this will benefit the entire ecosystem including content producers, marketers and help in enhancing the experience for customers.”

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