Still unsure about BARC’s proposed measurement regime? Try these FAQs

08 Oct,2014


After engaging with a cross-section of the broadcast ecosystem with roadshows in Delhi, Bengaluru, Chennai and Mumbai last month, there were many questions that the BARC India management and technical committee were asked.


While the roadshow presentation is put on the BARC website, the joint industry body also circulated an interesting set of FAQs to its mailing list as well as put up on the website (


Here are the FAQs, which we republish with permission in the interest of broadcast stakeholders who may have missed BARC’s communication.


How is BARC INDIA better?

The key differences are: a) much bigger sample size, b) better representation of urban-rural divide, c) measuring catch-up TV along with linear TV d) accurate identification of channels even in simulcast situations e) adoption of the watermarking technology which has capabilities to capture multi-platform viewership and f) usage of NCCS


How have you ensured robust sampling?

We are going much wider and deeper (i.e. going rural, covering more towns and also going deeper in the existing towns).


What % of TV homes is covered with BARC INDIA?

We will capture viewing behavior of all TV owning HH’s through robust sampling and report “What India Watches”.


What is the meter distribution between urban and rural?

In the first batch approximately 70% of our meters will be in urban and ~30% will be in rural.


What happens to the viewership of the channels which are not watermarked?

They will not be reported.


Do you see a scenario of two data providers? 

We can speak for ourselves – we are gearing to be THE currency for television audience measurement.


What do you mean by being future ready?

In more ways than one.

– All of our partners / vendors are the best in their class making each cog in the measurement wheel totally solid.
– Viewership measurement technology – watermarking is capable of measuring viewership across screens. Going forward when digital viewership of television content aggressively competes with television viewership this becomes extremely relevant.
– Same goes with time shift viewing which we are geared to report from day one.


How many towns will be covered?

As mentioned above, the sample will be both deeper & wider.


A humungous exercise like this, has to have checks & balances as to who knows what. We will almost triple the coverage of towns compared to existing system.


TAM currently measures 27crores individuals. What will be the corresponding number in BARC INDIA?

BARC India mandate is to measure ‘What India Watches’. We would be going; both wider and deeper. BARC India will represent entire TV Universe footprint in the Country.


What will be the frequency of data availability?

We are fully equipped to report data at the frequency that the market wants to. The frequency for reporting is likely to be weekly. However for certain data types (depending on viewership numbers), we might aggregate the same either by period or time-band or geography. Announcement to that effect will be made after we have validated the data.


NCCS: How is a particular durable even relevant today to be included in the list of durables to determine household affordability?

It is administered by MRSI and a review will be done periodically to keep it relevant.


What is the likely pricing going to be? 

The idea is make affordable data available to the last mile. We are working on an ingenuous pricing model to capture the principles of BARC India of inclusivity, equality and transparency. After necessary iterations and approvals it will be revealed closer to launch.


How many channels will be monitored by BARC INDIA? 

All the channels that have watermarking will be monitored. Number of channels getting watermarked are increasing as we speak. All the major channels are being watermarked.


What if watermark is switched off by the broadcaster?

– We are not worried about that.
– Firstly, it’s not in the interest of the broadcaster to deliberately switch off watermarking. But like any technology, such eventualities could happen due to various reasons. To arrest these instances stringent processes with escalation matrix across watermark monitoring agency, broadcaster & BARC India are in place. They will highlight even if a small bit of content is not watermarked.
– Secondly, if the watermark is off the media agencies and advertisers will most likely stop buying the channel thereby forcing the broadcaster to correct the same.


Would reporting be available at DTH vs digital vs analog cable?

All decisions on reporting will be taken only after reviewing live data.


Would data be available at TV vs other devices?

While currently our focus is to report accurate data for the television viewership, BARC India has the technical capability to capture data across screens and therefore we will certainly do so going forward.


Now that establishment study uses data from IRS 2013, is there a possibility of cross-media reporting?

Establishment study uses data from multiple sources like IRS, NCAER, TRAI & Census. Our immediate focus at BARC India is to report television viewership.


Will there be a time gap between the release of viewership data and adex data?

BARC India is aiming at releasing both simultaneously.


Will adex nomenclature match with TAM/ MAP?

BARC INDIA nomenclature would be different and will be more advantageous for advertisers.


Would the panel take into consideration MSO on ground strength?

Panel would be a reflection of what people watch; no MSO biases would be considered for sampling.


Would there be an overlap between TAM and BARC INDIA data?

In any country there is only one currency which operates for trading TV advertising inventory. TAM being a proprietary set-up, may continue to report data; however industry bodies would eventually be moving to single currency.


What is the plan on vigilance?

A senior police official is being appointed by BARC INDIA for heading vigilance. Given the current data collection format and use of technology, tampering of data is highly unlikely.


Would multi TV households be reported separately?

Very few households currently have multiple televisions and we would not report this number separately though we will measure multiple TVs, wherever it is, in sample households.


Would cable channels start getting captured?

Watermarking technology supports this. If any MSO wants their channel to be measured, they should invest in the embedding technology.


Since reporting is done at Urban and Urban+ Rural level, isn’t it possible to work back and arrive at Rural only figures?

BARC India will not support or endorse this as the figures are statistically invalid, that’s precisely the reason why rural won’t be reported separately as a gold standard by BARC India. Once the sample increases from 20k to 50K we will have the capability to report rural also separately.


Will Group M also subscribe to BARC India television viewership data? 

Group M is a part of AAAI, who is one of our shareholders. Group M is also financially committed to BARC India.


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