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MIB bars BARC from releasing TV ratings data; TAM to continue process

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MUMBAI: The newly launched television audience measurement Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) India has been asked to stop releasing ratings by the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting (MIB) before the issues related to its registration is sorted. Meanwhile the rival auditor Television Audience Measurement (TAM) informed that it would continue releasing rating insights as per schedule.

A statement from TAM said, "For TAM Media Research, weekly TV Viewership data release to the industry will continue as normal. Pursuant to the interim order issued by the Hon’ble High Court of Delhi on 12 February, 2014, 1.7(a), 1.7(d), 16.1 & 16.2 of impugned guidelines have been stayed till the disposal of the Writ Petition 494/2014 (Kantar Matter).”

BARC released the first set of data on 29 April, 2015 and had scheduled the release of its weekly ratings every Wednesday. When queried as to whether BARC would release its ratings as per schedule despite notice from the MIB, BARC India CEO Partho Dasgupta told indiantelevision.com, “We are discussing the matter with MIB and are yet to take a call if we will release the data tomorrow.”

As per the guidelines, all TV rating agencies shall obtain MIB’s registration. In the case of BARC, which is an industry-led body, its registration process is yet to be completed and hence the release of ratings would set a wrong precedent, sources in the Ministry told PTI. In an earlier report by PTI, Dasgupta informed that the application for registration was filed in November 2014.

It can be noted that there are numerous stakeholders in BARC who have put in a huge sum of money to ensure that quality ratings are delivered.

It remains to be seen if BARC and the MIB succeed to come to a consensus and release the second set of data as per schedule on 6 May, 2015.

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