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March 2019


Seeking industry views, TRAI has floated its consultation paper 'Review of Television Audience Measurement and Ratings in India,' inviting views & comments from the industry.


Responding to TRAI's consultation, the Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF) and News Broadcasters Association (NBA) have stated that the current shareholding of Broadcasters Audience Research Council (BARC) India should not be altered.

IBF represents pay TV broadcasters and holds a majority: 60% share of BARC, giving it practical control.

IBF said its members manage 400+ channels and about 90% of television viewership across country & they are also significantly directly impacted based on TV ratings. Hence the IBF must have a shareholding in BARC which is commensurate with its importance.

Pay Channels Through IBF Want To Retain Majority Stake & Control Of BARC

BARC India has been promoted by the Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF), the Indian Society of Advertisers (ISA) and the Advertising Agencies Association of India (AAAI), based on 60:20:20 holdings. With a 60% stake, the IBF is a dominant stake holder, with huge control. TRAI's consultation seeks to review this situation, as clearly there could be a conflict of interest, since BARC is required to submit independent ratings and reports.

DPOs Must Have Stake In BARC - TataSky


Tata Sky has submitted that Distribution Platform Operators (DPOs) must get representation in the Broadcasters Audience Research Council (BARC) India.


Tata Sky pointed out that BARC does not transparently share the methodology and the division of panel homes between Cable TV, DTH and FreeDish. TataSky suspects that DTH homes are underrepresented, in the BARC's sampled homes.

TV ratings, it stated, should be based on a sample which should be representative of the industry based on Town and Town Class i.e. DAS 1, DAS 2, DAS 3, DAS 4 and SEC A, B & C and technologies (DTH, Cable, IPTV etc.). All segments of consumption whether demographic or technology must be captured.

Also, the sampling of HDTV homes needs to be relooked.


It also argued in favour of encouraging multiple rating agencies. "The underlying policy framework should allow for multiple rating agencies. Competition would bring in new technologies, new research methodologies, new methods in analysis, new and better ways to ensure better data quality," it stated.

"BARC Is Controlled By Those Who The System Is Rating.... It Appears To Be Open To Manipulation By Broadcasters," GTPL Hathway


GTPL Hathway backed the TataSky stand that DPOs must be represented in BARC. Further, content producers who are also part of the value chain, must be included in BARC.

"It can be argued that BARC is basically controlled by those who the system is rating, with broadcasters having a controlling stake. Being a measurement system, primarily for an ad-dependent TV industry, it appears to be open to manipulation by broadcasters,"

GTPL also said it was a major concern that BARC cannot distinguish between regular viewership & viewership of a landing channel.

The MSO was not in favour of multiple TV rating agencies, as the sample size would get reduced.


The Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) opposed the IBF's majority stake & control. It pointed out that globally, higher percentage of revenue is contributed by media owners. n