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BARC publishes policy for genre classification of TV channels

MUMBAI: The Broadcasters Audience Research Council (BARC) India has published its genre classification criteria for broadcasters.

Under the genre classification, television channels must have more than 60% of the content from the genre in which they want to be categorised.

The genre classification will be applicable for public reporting of data on BARC India website, mobile app and social media platforms.

For example, a channel will be categorised by BARC India as a movie channel if more than 60% of its content for a given week, averaged across a calendar quarter from 6:00 hours to 26:00 hours, is movies, movie-based programmes, documentaries and movie trailers.

The different genres

BARC has listed genres like news, business news, music, youth, sports, kids, infotainment, lifestyle, devotional, teleshopping and general entertainment channel (GEC).

The viewership measurement agency has said that TV channels that do not fall under any of the above-mentioned genres will be deemed as GECs.

The genre classification has been formulated based on the duration of ‘program theme’ telecast in an average week (06:00–26:00 hours) for a given quarter.

Channel genres to be reviewed every quarter on the basis of content theme

Channel genres will be reviewed every quarter of the year in January, April, July, and October on the basis of the content theme and market viewership of the preceding quarter.

With TV channels telecasting significant amount of cross-genre programming to engage and retain their audiences, the council felt it was necessary to have a standard genre classification method in place.

It further pointed out that some film channels telecast significant amount of music/sport content, GECs telecast movies and music channels run fiction/non-fiction serials.

“Since BARC India publishes weekly top channel lists grouped by genre, it is important to make the media industry aware of the policy based on which the channels have been classified under specific genres,” the document put up by the TV rating agency stated.

If any channel changes its programme themes in a particular quarter, the channel will need to notify BARC India of the relevant change.

Pan-India criteria

BARC further stated that channels garnering 70% or higher viewership from a single reporting state/state group would not be reported on all-India basis.

For any channel to be reported on pan-India basis, the viewership would need to come from six or more reporting states/state groups.

If the original telecast of a channel is a regional language, then it will be classified as a regional channel. The reporting market for HD channels will be derived from their SD sibling.