BARC India will not publish viewership data publicly due to TRAI TO implementation

MUMBAI: The Broadcasters Audience Research Council (BARC) India has decided to stop sharing TV viewership data publicly in light of the implementation of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s (TRAI) new regulatory framework.

However, the TV audience measurement body will continue sharing the data with its subscribers. BARC shares the data about top channels/programmes in different languages and genres every Thursday. The council will not be sharing data from week 6.

BARC India has put out a brief statement notifying the public at large about the decision. The council has not specified the time period for which the data will not be available publicly.

“In the light of the implementation of TRAI’s new tariff order and on ground changes, BARC India’s viewership will be released only to its subscribers until further notice,” BARC India posted on its social media page.

The implementation of the new regulatory framework is likely to cause changes in the distribution of TV channels. The framework provides consumers to pick and choose channels/packages of their choice.

The actual penetration of TV channels will only be known once all the TV households have migrated to the new pricing regime. The viewership of a channel depends on the quality of content and the number of households it reaches.

Incidentally, the BARC India decision comes in the wake of the advisory issued by Indian Society of Advertisers (ISA) asking its members not to use BARC data for media planning and buying in the interim period till the implementation gets sorted out.

It had also stated that it will take at least six weeks to assess the stability of the viewership numbers post the implementation of the new framework. It is pertinent to note that the TRAI has extended the date of migration to 31st March to give more time to customers who have not exercised their choice.

ISA had also stated that it will work closely with BARC to confirm when the data becomes stable and usable for planning and buying for its members.