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BARC India plans expansion of metre homes to 44,000 by this FY

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MUMBAI: Rural India is getting in the limelight. TV ratings body BroadcastAuidence Research Council (BARC) is expanding metre homes to 44,000 by this financial year.

BARC India CEO Partho Dasgupta told to the Press Trust of India, " When we first started measuring TV viewership habits, 30 per cent of our sample TV homes were in rural India. This went up to 33 per cent when we expanded our metres to 33,000. This will further go up to 38 per cent, when we expand the metre homes to 44,000 by end of this financial year. This is a 153 per cent growth in the rural sample.”

In coming years it will have 55,000 TV homes. "With return path data (RPD), we plan to scale up this number to over 200,000," he said adding that RPD will also help to curb panel home tampering.

In 2015 BARC started to roll out the data, where it has seen that the TV viewership is highest among the youth (15-30 year) even in the digital age. It even tied up with Den Network and Airtel Digital TV for RPD and Dasgupta said it is in talks with all the other players.

The daily tune-ins on TV currently stands at 557 million and the daily average time spent per viewer watching TV is 3 hour 44 minutes.

The total TV viewership has gone up from 20.4 billion impressions to 28.3 billion impressions, up by 39 per cent.

Key Hindi genres like Hindi GEC, Hindi movies and Hindi news have gone up by six per cent, 87 per cent and 13 per cent respectively since 2015.

Viewership for English channels has also gone up from 115 million impressions to 122 million impressions, a growth of six per cent.

HD viewership has seen a 5.5 times growth in the last three years. Sports, that in 2015 contributed to 1.8 per cent to total TV viewership, has grown to three per cent in 2018.

In the sports genre, while cricket still remains the most popular on TV, viewership of local sport kabaddi has grown by 83 per cent.

"Also, trends like increase in temperature leads to drop in primetime viewership and total TV viewership in South spikes during festival holidays have come up," Dasgupta said.

Meanwhile BARC has also started measuring out of the home television which aims is to measure all the screens being used to consume content says Dasgupta.

It has recently started measuring OOH TV consumptions in Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru for restaurants, pubs and lounges.

This year BARC India is mainly focused on moving from being a mere data company to an insights company.

It is also preparing for its digital measurement service Ekam. "One reason it is taking longer than estimated to launch Ekam is that we are working to build that consensus to get all key stakeholders onboard and aligned to the building blocks of Ekam. This will ensure all-round acceptance of the data. We also underwent a similar journey before launching TV viewership measurement," added Dasgupta.

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