24 May,2019

Headline: BARC responds to TRAI’s bark. Will consult stakeholders on display of data on website

 

Summary:

 

Notes the BARC statement: To set the record straight, BARC India has not stopped publishing its viewership data.

 

 

By A Correspondent

 

Yesterday, MxMIndia carried an editorial comment on a letter that TRAI has reportedly issued to BARC (link:http://www.mxmindia.com/2019/02/comment-trai-barks-at-barc-incorrectly/)

 

Today, BARC has issued a statement:

 

To set the record straight, BARC India has not stopped publishing its viewership data. Every week, at 11 am sharp, all our subscribers have been getting all India weekly data without a hitch for the last 175 weeks, including the last 2 weeks that correspond to the NTO transition.

 

However, we have published data of last 2 weeks with the caveat that there are changes taking place on ground due to NTO rollout due to which viewership numbers will be volatile during the transition period. The Indian Society of Advertisers (ISA) too has advised its members that our data should not be used for media planning and buying in the transition period.

 

We also publish a limited amount of data on our website – intended only for larger benefit and information of trade and media. We temporarily held back release of this select headline data on our website. We did this purely to avoid mis-representation of such data (Top 5 channels/programmes etc) without looking at the larger context of NTO rollout and resulting volatility which could be misleading, lead to confusion and be counter-productive.

 

Our position is also aligned to Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Guidelines that govern us. The guidelines clearly say that “…data generated by the rating agency be made available, on paid basis, to all interested stakeholders…”. And “Sharing of the data/reports with a third party or in public domain be allowed subject to the fair usage policy of the rating agency. Such fair usage policy shall be provided on the website of the rating agency.”

 

TRAI has advised us that we should also consider resuming the display of top channels and programs data on our website. We are taking a considered view on that post consultation with our stakeholders.

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