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BARC gets IRS data, baseline study and other process goes in action mode!

A few days back, Adgully reported about the hindrances the new measurement system Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) had been facing regarding the delay the roll out of its operations on time. The reason cited was the non-availability of baseline data for panel designing from the Indian Readership Survey (IRS). However, news is that BARC has now received the essential baseline data study for the panel designing but is likely to push the October 2014 deadline to December the same year.

Source confirming the news stated, “We have finally got the data and started working on the panel designing. We are working hard to get the system in place as soon as we can. Though the October deadline looks difficult, we will definitely start reporting viewership ratings before end of the year”.

Industry sources say that with the study in place, which was essential for deployment of peoplemeters, the other task for BARC now is to set the principles of weightage for every city or region, set demographic rules which would then identify panel home and recruit them actual installation of peoplemeters. This, the source said would take another month or two.

It may be recollected that Adgully had earlier reported about the flaws citied in the IRS data released early this year and that this data had put a halt to the process at the BARC, which was devised to set up an alternative TV ratings management system in India with a self-imposed deadline of October 2014.

Media honcho and BARC Chairman Punit Goenka, MD and CEO at ZEEL had then stated that there are certain issues which they are facing with regards to the IRS data that is in abeyance till a third-party validation following hue and cry by the publishers fraternity, thus putting BARC in a fix at the panel planning level.

It may be understood that, BARC had commissioned the IRS to supply it with the baseline study for the panel designing at BARC. But as the IRS data has withdrawn the survey, the council does not have the baseline study to start its next level planning. Until the council has that data the panel designing cannot happen. According to sources, the deployment of the peoplemeters depends on the panel design. Once the design is in place, then only will BARC be ready to recruit the panel houses.

While BARC is assuring that all other facets of the set-up are in place, sources tell us that BARC has finalised all the vendors with only a few formalities pending completion. BARC had, earlier this year, roped in French firm Médiamétrie as its technology partner to build the technology framework; following which it has now delegated Prime Focus Technologies (PFT) to offer play-out monitoring service to power BARC. As reported earlier, this play-out monitoring service which once implemented will be one of the world’s largest audience measurement programmes. BARC had also commissioned Civolution for the watermarking technology, which is said to be the leading provider of technology and solutions for identifying, managing and monetising content.

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