Telecom watchdog wants advertisers to measure television ratings

August 19th, 2008 - 6:55 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 19 (IANS) The Indian telecom watchdog Tuesday said the Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC), an organisation set up by advertisers last September, should oversee television audience measurement and ratings for broadcasters.”BARC can have two nominees from the ministry of information and broadcasting on its board, and be responsible for audience measurement rating of television programmes,” Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) said in an official statement Tuesday.

BARC is an umbrella organisation formed by leading industry associations of the advertising sector in September last year to oversee and control the television audience measurement system in India.

It is a non-profit organisation registered as a company with a nominal share capital contributed equally by the Indian Society of Advertisers, the Indian Broadcasting Foundation and the Advertising Agencies Association of India.

In its recommendations on television ratings point released Tuesday, TRAI said: “BARC should not do it directly and should resort to an open transparent bidding process for the various stages involved in the rating process.”

The ministry can provide the key eligibility norms for selecting rating agencies and their performance obligation norms, it added.

Television ratings, which are now carried out by two private rating agencies - Television Audience Measurement or TAM, and Audience Measurement and Analytics Ltd (aMap) - are primarily meant to guide broadcasters, media agencies and advertisers to determine their programming schedule, advertisement spend and placements.

BARC, whose organisational structure and functions are yet to be defined, can work in close co-ordination with the ministry of information and broadcasting, TRAI said.

The telecom watchdog has also recommended that the sample size for undertaking television ratings should cover a larger area than now, and a comprehensive mandatory audit of the rating system be conducted at least once in three years.

Currently, the operations are limited to a few large cities with a population above 100,000.

Within big cities too, the sample size is a total of about 7,000 (TAM) and 6,000 (aMAP) metered homes.

TAM Media Research covers all states except Jammu and Kashmir, North Eastern India, Bihar and Jharkhand, while aMap sample covers all states except Kashmir and the North-East but includes Jammu and Guwahati cities.

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