How will BARC's decision impact news channels?

The views are mixed, but the news genre would do well to improve quality

KOLKATA: L'affaire TV ratings continues.  In an unprecedented move, the Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) India has decided to cease giving out ratings  for individual news channels as it goes about improving the way it does its measurement and improves security. The twonews  industry associations expressed diamterically opposte views on BARC's decision. While the NBA welcomed it, the NBF expressed its disappoinment at not being consulted. 

A key question that begs asking is: will the absence of ratings  impact the way marketers, media planners and buyers buy air time on the news genres?

BARC data, the only currency to measure what is being watched on TV in India,  plays a major role in the decision-making process of advertisers and agencies. Many news broadcasters are perhaps chewing on their fingernails, fretting over the impact this may have on their revenue.

Some experts from media agencies believe news channels sales folks needn't worry; there may be very little change.

Read more news on BARC

An expert from a large media agency stated, on the condition of anonymity, that the media-rating blackout is not a brand-new experience. Back in the TAM regime, when linear TV was a much stronger medium, the industry survived without any ratings on several occasions, sometimes for as long as a couple of months. He added that advertising never got impacted due to issues regarding jurisdiction.

Another media executive expressed that there might be a marginal movement of ad dollars to other genres in the short run. "News being a high impact genre can’t be ignored under any circumstances. Further, he cautioned that channels should take note in improving the content quality given the increasing negative sentiment among a part of advertisers as well as viewers," he said.

Parle Products  senior category marketing head BK Rao believes that ratings are not the only inputs that drive buying decisions for TV. "Besides ratings, brands consider other inputs too, such as speaking to distributors, the programming line-up, and time bands," he shared. More importantly, Rao feels  that now the focus will shift to quality, rather than quantity. “Advertisers will be forced to look at the quality aspect. They will have to speak to shareholders to understand the consumption pattern. In general or business news, content will be considered as a key factor. Quality analysis of news will play a major role. Overall, news networks will definitely suffer revenue-wise. Advertising people will shift their revenue to other genres,” he theorised.

Some analysts are playing the waiting game, unwilling to leap to any conclusions. “It is too early. As the situation is evolving, it is difficult to predict now. Everybody is evaluating right now as the scene is unfolding gradually,” said Dentsu India CEO Anand Bhadkamkar.

A senior industry veteran opines that news channels should start leaning towards a subscription  model. "As a group if they decide to go pay and don't break that pact, they will find enough viewing cohorts nationally to help them have a viable business model," says he. "Advertising will then be the cream on top, and not their lifeblood. They will then be able to go about being the fourth estate of society without any worries about the stances they take."
Are the new channels head honchos listening?

Latest Reads
Critically acclaimed American dystopian drama, ‘Fast Color’ to premiere on MN+ and Romedy NOW

Offering some of the most celebrated Hollywood movies of all time to its viewers, MN+ and Romedy NOW will simulcast the Indian Television premiere of the American supernatural movie, ‘Fast Color’ this Sunday October 25, at 1:00 PM and 9:00 PM.

Television TV Channels GECs
TV will grow, but digital is where the money's at: SPNI's NP Singh

Sony Pictures Networks India MD and CEO NP Singh has always believed in looking on the bright side. After the network lost the IPL media rights to arch rival Star Sports, Singh claimed they were better off and more profitable without the league.

Television TV Channels Viewership
Aaj Tak enters Bengal market with first regional digital extension

NEW DELHI: Aaj Tak is venturing into the regional digital news space with the launch of The digital format of Aaj Tak Bangla will showcase exclusive content in politics, literature, sports, technology and entertainment for its visitors. The unveiling of Aaj Tak’s Bangla digital...

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
TRP row: Republic TV's broadcast of Hansa Report not illegal, says court

NEW DELHI: Mumbai Police commissioner Param Bir Singh opened up a pandora’s box on 8 October when he addressed the press conference on the subject of TRP manipulation. Ever since, the news broadcasting industry has been beset by flying allegations and accusations, as well as FIRs and lawsuits...

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
Delhi high court rules Republic TV cannot use ‘News Hour’

New Delhi: The fight for who holds the rights to the words ‘News Hour’ and ‘nation wants to know’ between Benett Coleman & Co’s Times Now and ARG Media Outlier’s Republic TV has been on for a very long time. Earlier, BCCL had moved the high court seeking a permanent injunction against Arnab...

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
Celebrate This Glorious Victory Of Good Over Evil With Some Of The Greatest Heroes And Villains This Sunday On &flix And &PrivéHD

A time of happiness, the festival of Dusshera celebrates a new era, ushered in by the victory of good over evil. On this auspicious day, watch as evil is extinguished with fury and vengeance as glorious battles and fierce action awaits you on Sunday, 25th October 2020 only on &flix and &...

Television TV Channels English Entertainment
Zee Tamil marks the successful completion of the third season of Zee Tamil Kutumbam Viruthugal 2020; To be telecasted on Sundays at 2.30 pm starting 25th October to 8th November

After two successful years of entertaining the audience, Zee Tamil returned with the third season of the Zee Tamil Kutumbam Viruthugal 2020. It was a glorious evening in Chennai where the red carpet was rolled for the Zee Tamil family to felicitate the stars and celebrate the exceptional talent in...

Television TV Channels Regional
Colors Marathi to launch two new shows during festive season

MUMBAI: As part of its Navi Umed, Navi Bharari ethos, Colors Marathi will debut two new shows during the ongoing festive season to provide viewers with wholesome entertainment. Sukhi Mansacha Sadara will launch on 25 October with a special episode and will air every Monday to Saturday at 9:30 pm....

Television TV Channels GECs
Takis Candilis returns to Banijay as senior adviser

MUMBAI: Banijay has welcomed former head of scripted Takis Candilis back to the business as it looks to expand its investment in the genre. Candilis has returned in the capacity of senior advisor and will drive up co-production and new IP opportunities across southern Europe. In recent months,...

Television Production House Post Production

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories

* indicates required