The clock is ticking… Guidelines on TV audience measurement issued. 30 days wef Jan 16

17 Jan,2014

By A Correspondent

 

Valentine’s Day this year is when the broadcast system may need to kiss the current audience measurement system goodbye. That is, if the government, the Courts or some divine power do not intervene. Or of course if TAM, the sole operator of the current audience measurement system, is unable to take some urgent measures to comply with the guidelines.

 

There was a meeting with the Minister of Information & Broadcasting and officials of the ministry and key BARC functionaries in Delhi on Thursday (Jan 16) and even though Advertising Agencies Association of India President Arvind Sharma underscored the need to extend the deadline for the guidelines by five to six months, the Minister said there was not much he could do since the guidelines were being uploaded on the website and since the Cabinet had approved them, there’s little he could do in the matter.

 

The order on the guidelines uploaded on the ministry website is dated January 16 and it clearly states that the guidelines will come into force 30 days from the date of issuance. The 30th day would be either February 14 or 15 given when the 30-day notice comes into force – from Jan 16 or 17.

 

Meanwhile, the industry is bracing for a measurement-free era. While some of those who got the government to intervene have reason to wonder if they have scored a self-goal, the real worry is for broadcasters who could now face the heat from advertisers.

 

The pressure is also on the stakeholder-led BARC to ensure timely delivery of its measurement system. It may be recalled that BARC spokespersons have promised the commencement of a new television audience measurement regime by the second quarter of 2014.

 

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