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BARC amends norms for reporting single events, leadership claims in PrimaVU rating

Amid the row over landing page and shift to reporting data for Pay and FTA separately, BARC India announced its latest offering earlier this month – PrimaVU, which is aimed at measuring viewership from premium homes. PrimaVU is a separate product and not part of the currency panel measurement. 

Through PrimaVU, BARC India also introduces the industry-first concept of “Viewing Minutes”, which is basically sum of all individuals watching an event basis the time spent by them. 

The industry body has now proposed the BARC Permissible Use Policy that will allow TV stations to publicly disclose BARC audience estimates in PrimaVu for Single Events that equal or exceed a minimum audience standard. The disclosure of such single events is restricted and must fully comply with BARC Single Event Reporting Standards. 

As per the policy, all data must be attributed as per BARC Audience estimate for Station XXXX on DD/MM/YYYY from HH/MM to HH/MM. These estimates are produced using BARC BMW software. 

For reporting Single Event data, the geography must be for either All Megacities combined or Individual Megacity or combination of the Megacities. The targets must be households (HHs). 

Also Read: Landing page row: Regional broadcasters draw parallels with net neutrality controversy

In terms of Time Band Duration and Audience Size, the event being reported must have a minimum duration of 30 minutes. This apart, the event taken as a whole (including event airings over multiple days) must have a TG audience equal to or greater than 25 per cent of the same day(s), same time-band, four-week average audience for the TG; or the event taken as a whole (including event airings over multiple days) must have a TG time-band audience equal to or greater than 20 per cent of the Station sign-on to sign-off TG audience for the same day(s). 

In case of Simulcast events, the conditions will apply for combined viewership for all stations/ channels that are part of the simulcast. 

As per BARC’s policy, the Permitted Audience Estimates include:

  • Viewership may only be shown in Impressions’000s or Viewing Minutes. Use of Rat% not permitted 
  • Cumulative Reach must be expressed in Cume Reach’000s. Use of Cume Reach% not permitted 
  • Competitive rankings are permissible provided that rankings are for:
  • Same day as event and for identical time-band, based on Impressions’000s or Viewing Minutes and/or Cov’000s, Or
  • Same Program Genre as classified in BMW system of content based on Impressions’000s or Viewing Minutes and/ or Cume Reach’000s. 

Competitive references and comparisons are permitted provided that they are for same day as reported event and for identical time period. However, BARC doesn’t allow competitive shares in any external release of audience estimates for single events covered by this policy. 

Viewing minutes can be used for competitive references provided the duration of the programmes/ events is the same. 

Moreover, the tabulations used must be direct outputs of BARC India’s BMW user interface; use of PrimaVU Online portal/ Dashboard is not permitted. 

BARC’s policy also does not permit comparisons between currency Panel data and PrimaVU. The rules also do not permit selective use of BARC India PrimaVU data to bestow an artificial advantage on a channel. 

Ratings Leadership 

Bringing further clarity on ‘Leadership’ in television, BARC India noted that “A leader is not created overnight. A given moment or in a given day part on a particular day, may show someone ahead or someone behind. This does not constitute leadership. Using such a momentary blip is a very weak foundation on which to base a leadership claim.” 

The industry body listed certain tests that need to be applied before making a claim of leadership using PrimaVU data:

  • The period of comparison must cover at least four consecutive weeks of data.
  • The period of comparison must be for full week.
  • The tabulations used must be direct outputs of BARC India’s BMW user interface. Any number derived by extrapolating or interpolating BMW outputs or by using PrimaVU Online portal/ Dashboard is not permitted for use in the public domain.
  • Ratings/ Cume Reach in % should not be used and only absolute numbers should be considered 

Concluding its policy report, BARC India said that while there could be no objection to how much a user may parse BARC India data for internal use (within reasonable limits ve.g. Relative Error levels, etc.), but the rules need to be strictly adhered to in all commercial applications. “Any use of BARC India data for supporting an appeal to viewers, advertisers or their designated agents and representatives constitutes commercial use,” the industry body stated.

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