New facts are emerging every day since the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) asked BARC (Broadcasters Audience Research Council) India to publish news viewing data immediately. According to senior sources, BARC India required the MIB to have a 10-week lead time before releasing viewership data for news. It has been suspended since October 2020.
With this information, everyone in the broadcast sector wondered why BARC India needed a 10-week lead time when it was already collecting news data and testing a revised 4-week moving average reporting system for news and niche channels.
According to senior media and advertising executives who are media measurement experts, BARC must follow certain steps before reporting news data. It must communicate to all news and niche channels about the revised format and agree to process old data.
They have to write a letter to every broadcaster and follow some protocols. It’s about coordinating broadcasters and interest groups. Since they are already doing rolling averages, the actual rating can come out in two weeks. There is a possibility. The moving average data test has already been performed. BARC needs to get agreement from each broadcaster on whether to suppress old data and what exactly they want from the channel. So what are the 15 events they want in a year? By doing so, they will receive unroll data for about 15 events, the executive said on condition of anonymity.
He also said the problem was procedural and technical. They have to get everyone’s consent and then make sure everyone is part of this mechanism. Some channels say it’s 15 events, some say it’s impossible, so they need to clear the other 15 deployment data manually. Then requesting news and niche channels will take some time because they have more than 300,400 channels, and once they get a response from everyone, they will scrap that data and then run a test run, management added.
Media experts familiar with BARC India’s systems and processes can explain why it took 10 weeks to release the data, especially given that the audience gauge interface can deliver 4-week moving average data for news and niche genres. The council said it needed to be explained. ..
If they have the data and the user interface can provide a four-week moving average, then someone at BARC needs to explain what they want to do in 10 weeks. Why exactly 10 weeks? Why not 15 weeks or 6 months? The question to ask BARC is, “What can’t you do in 10 weeks that you can’t do now? Because, according to them, there is data and the user can calculate a four-week rolling average, a new format for news reports and niche channel data, said management.
He also said that the technical aspects of data deployment are limited to software updates and ensuring that they are running smoothly. “When a subscriber accesses the BARC user interface, they may be asked to update the software like any other software. So it’s all about installing new software and testing it to see if it works. If the system the subscriber is working on works with the new user interface, then you are good to go,” he added.
Media experts said BARC must protect the integrity of the entire system. “The only concern that a measurement system should have is that the data is created strictly, with great care, and meticulously, he explained.
He also noted that fiscal years and parliamentary elections would be completed before the end of the 10-week period. “If the data is released after 10 weeks, it means the end of this financial year. It also means that the elections will be over,” he noted.