Television

BARC India board forms two-member committee to review data validation & outlier policy

Nakul Chopra and Praveen Tripathi are part of the committee

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MUMBAI: Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) India’s board has constituted a two-member committee to review the TV audience measurement firm’s data validation and outlier policy, Indiantelevision.com has learnt. The board’s decision comes on the back of chaos triggered by the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal’s (TDSAT) ruling to permit landing page placement for TV channels. Former BARC chairman Nakul Chopra and Pravin Tripathi are part of the committee.

“This is a great move. We at BARC India welcome the board's decision because as a joint industry body, operating in compliance with the Ministry of I&B, we follow best practises for the industry. An independent overview of the process and any recommendation to improve, are always welcome and we look forward to working with this committee,” a BARC spokesperson told Indiantelevision.com.

Following the TDSAT ruling, BARC had stopped filtering out outlier data (from landing pages from its weekly viewership numbers. However, it reverted to its earlier methodology from week 23 onward citing the mandate of its board and claiming it had received representations received from various stakeholders.

"As per representations received from various stakeholders and as per our board mandate, we are in the interim reverting back to our earlier process for treatment of landing page. The same will be reflective from week 23 onward till further notice. The process is also under review by the board. BARC India cannot identify landing pages. It has been identifying reach outliers. This practice is followed for all channels but the impact is more pronounced for smaller viewership channels like English news, business news and not for genres like Hindi GEC etc,” BARC had stated.

The industry has voiced differing opinions on not just the TDSAT ruling but also BARC’s treatment of landing pages in viewership measurement.

BARC’s weekly viewership numbers with and without landing page data has exhibited contrasting trends particularly in genres like English news. In a sense, the BARC board’s decision can be seen as an attempt to allay fears of a section within the industry that isn’t particularly satisfied with the transparency in the data validation and outlier policy of the TV measurement body.

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