BARC updates policy for release of viewership data

BARC has updated its policy for the release of a TV channel's viewership data in view of the resumption of news ratings. The updated policy states that the BARC needs at least four to eight weeks to release a channel's data publicly.

 On the advice of the BARC India Board, BARC had temporarily paused the reporting of individual channel audience estimates for all news channels on October 15, 2020. The Technical Committee (TechComm), working along with the BARC team, was tasked to review and augment the existing standards of measuring and reporting audience estimates of News and Special Interest genres and to come up with a scientific and acceptable solution to improve their robustness. However, BARC continued to release weekly audience estimates for the News genre aggregated by region and language.

Subsequently, the BARC team worked actively with the TechComm and its larger group and held several consultative meetings with the BARC Oversight Committee consisting of independent members, industry experts and domain specialists, in evolving the way forward. Specifically, the BARC TechComm sought to address the issues of high variability and bounce in the audience estimates of News and Special Interest genre channels owing to their low tuned sample and usage of highly targeted TGs (target groups). Multiple options were explored, and due consideration was given to suggestions from the industry participants and stakeholders.

After an extensive evaluation process, and a series of consultations with stakeholder representatives on the TechComm and industry experts, BARC India arrived at a statistically sound and effective solution - the Augmented Data Reporting Standards for the News and Special Interest genres.

Accordingly, BARC India is hereby implementing the reporting of audience estimates as per the revised Augmented Data Reporting Standards for News and Special Interest Genres on a 4-Week Rolling Average Basis, vide the present policy effective 17th March 2022 (Week 10 2022).  

The present policy provides, inter alia, a detailed overview of the Augmented Data Reporting Standards, the manner and schedule for the release of past 13 weeks data collected by BARC India during the data pause (i.e., week 40, 2020 until Week 09, 2022) terms for the usage of data provided and guidance for subscriber queries.

Past Data under this Policy means the audience estimates processed basis the 4-week rolling average for individual News channels only for the period of Week 49, 2021 to Week 9, 2022. 

Subscribers should also note that no channel-level estimates, rolled or unrolled, will be provided for the period of Week 40, 2020 till Week 48, 2021, for the News genre.

All BARC India subscribers are required to adhere to this policy, including the usage guidelines prescribed hereinbelow and any breach by the subscriber will be addressed as per the terms of the End User License Agreement (EULA) and Scope of Work (SOW) signed by the subscriber.

i              ii) Genre-Language Classification of Channels.


      a) New Channels


When a new channel starts to be measured and reported by BARC in the midst of a quarter, the classification exercise will be done in the week of release on the basis of the previous four weeks of available programming data. The channel will then be added to the appropriate genre and carry that genre’s classification. To facilitate this process, the policy for onboarding new channels will be changed from a period of minimum 4 weeks to 8 weeks for the entire ecosystem. The channel’s genre will be updated, if necessary, at the next available quarterly review. The genre classification will be as per BARC India’s “Genre Language - Classification Policy” published on the BARC website from time to time.

   b) Existing Channels


The classification will be done once per quarter on the basis of the viewership data of the previous 13 weeks, and as per BARC India’s “Genre-Language Classification Policy” as approved by the TechComm and published on the BARC website from time to time.

i              iii) Definition of News and Special Interest Genres


               a) News – o A Channel will be classified under the ‘News’ genre if it is licensed by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (“MIB”), as a “News” channel, and if it airs News Content for more than 50% of its entire programming time in a quarter under consideration.


               b) Special Interest Genres o A genre would be classified as ‘Special Interest’ when the tuned sample (i.e., Reach of a genre) and/or Average Time Spent (“ATS”) are/is lower compared to other genres.

               o The threshold for both tuned sample and ATS is one Standard Deviation (1SD) below the mean of the normalized data of all genres excluding the News genre. Reach and ATS of genre are computed at respective Target market levels.


i              iv) Augmented Data Reporting Standards.


The Augmented Data Reporting Standards were rigorously tested over several months and are now industry-ready for rollout to subscribers from data of Week 10 2022.

In order to preserve data security and integrity and keep the cadence of advertisement planning consistent for all channels, the underlying DSM files downloaded to the YUMI software and any internal and external RLD files, are presented at a 4-week rolling average level for News and Special Interest genre channels. This is ensured through a statistical model which averages minute level viewing of both the weighted Reach’000 and ATS of channels within 30-minute blocks over the most recent 4-weeks.

This also ensures a level playing field for all channels within the BARC India ecosystem, since all audience estimates, whether for News, Special Interest Genre channels or for any other channel, are presented under a single database/log-in (i.e., the same YUMI platform that all our subscribers use).

The 4-weeks rolling average data as per the Augmented Data Reporting Standards, shall be implemented from Week 10 2022 (i.e., data released on Thursday, 17th March 2022). BARC India will also release, in batches, weekly rolled data for individual News channels for the past 13 weeks (i.e., Wk 49 2021 to Wk 9 2022) of the “Data Pause Period”.

From Wk 10, 2022, News and Special Interest genre channels’ data will be released weekly as per the Augmented Data Reporting Standards. This data will be presented under a single log-in in order to ensure a level playing field for all channels within the BARC ecosystem.

Under the new Augmented Data Reporting Standards, there will be two databases released weekly:

               i) Currency database: a. Audience estimate data released weekly in the YUMI Software to all BARC India subscribers.

               b. This data will carry 4-week rolling average channel level audience estimates for the News and Special Interest genres and regular daily unrolled audience estimates for all other genres/channels.

               c. This data will serve as the transactional currency for the Indian Television Audience Marketplace.

                    ii) Unrolled database: a. This data will only be released to broadcasters with one or more channels falling into the News or Special Interest genres through a separate YUMI database and license.

    b. This data will carry regular (i.e., unrolled) daily audience estimates, released weekly, only for the News and Special Interest Genre channels owned by that broadcaster, and not of any other channel.

    c. These unrolled audience estimates will only be released to the respective broadcasters 4 weeks after the first rolled augmented data release date of 17th March 2022. For clarity, data starting from Week 14, 2022.

    d. Each eligible subscriber (i.e., Broadcasters with channels belonging to a News or Special Interest Genre), will receive up to two (2) licenses per channel for accessing the unrolled audience estimate data.

   e. The unrolled audience estimates are confidential, non-transactional and strictly only for internal use of the respective subscribers and shall not be used in the public domain or for the selling of advertisements or for marketing reasons or announcements.

  f. The following variables and modules will not be available in this unrolled database:

i. Planview

ii. Ad Split

iii. Teleview

iv. Share (Shr%)

v. Total TV Ratings

vi. Margin of Error (ME)

iii) Respondent Level Data (RLD) audience estimate

a. RLD for channels falling into the News and Special Interest genres, will be released only on a rolling average basis from 17th March 2022 onwards (i.e., week 10 – 2022).

b. No unrolled version of RLD will be released for channels falling under the News and Special Interest genres.

c. RLD will not be re-released for the weeks 40-2020 to week 09-2022. That is to say, existing RLD files with news channels reported at an aggregated level will remain as-is.

  iv) Customized Event Reports (CER)


Broadcaster, for each of its watermarked channels classified under these genres.

•              A CER is defined as the reporting of an event in a single day for a period of no less than 30 minutes in a day and not exceeding 24 hours of the same day (i.e., 02:00 hours to 26:00 hours).

•              The audience estimates in the special report will be unrolled. The data in the CER will be sent directly to the respective channel only.


Broadcasters can use the CERs for the purpose of socializing/marketing communications, sharing with trade/media. However, this would be as per BARC India Guidelines for Fair and Permissible Usage as published on BARC website from time to time.

The CER report will contain the following Target Groups:

•             a) One common TG for all channels within a genre, as given below:

•             • English News Genre: All India (22+)

•             • Hindi News Genre: HSM (15+)

•             • Regional News: Relevant Region (15+)

               Special Interest Genres: All India/HSM/Region (2+), depending on their relevant market. For example: o If the channel under Special Interest Genre is a National or HSM channel, the TG would be All India 2+ or HSM 2+ respectively.

               o If the channel under Special Interest Genre is from TN/Py, then the TG would be TN/Py 2+.

               b) In addition to the above, a Broadcaster may request for 2 TGs of their choice. i. Available TG for age group will be 2+, 2 to 14, 2 to 21, 22 to 40, 15 to 30, 15 to 40, 15+, 22+

               ii. Broadcaster may request for specific demographic TG using NCCS, Sex and state groups/6 metros consolidated.



Please refer to BARC fair usage guidelines and select TG accordingly.

               c) The following Audience Estimates will be provided in the CER: • AMA’000 (Avg)

               • ATS (Viewer): Average across reporting period

               • Reach’000: Average across reporting period

               • Cume Reach’000: Sum across reporting period

               • Viewing Minutes as per the TG and Market.


•             d) The CER will contain both Time-band & Programme (if applicable) level data.


•             e) Broadcasters must submit the following details in their request for a CER:


•             Name of the Programme as displayed on screen during broadcast (if applicable).

•             • Start Time, End Time, Duration.

•             • Date of Telecast.

•             2 additional TGs, apart from the one common for the genre, if required (not smaller than a State Group, as reported in YUMI).


•             f) Broadcasters will be provided with 3 non-transferable CER’s quarterly for each channel.


•             g) A broadcaster can only avail a maximum of 2 CERs per month out of the 3 CERs per channel provided for the quarter.


•             h) Unutilized quota of 3 CERs in a quarter can be carried forwarded to the next quarter.


•             i) However, all unused quotas, held by a broadcaster/group, will lapse at the end of the fiscal year (i.e., unused quotas cannot be carried over to the subsequent fiscal year/s). The CER quotas cannot be shared or transferred between channels and they would be linked to the WM ID of respective channels.


•             j) The number of CERs allotted to a new channel would be pro-rated for that FY.


•             k) In order to release a CER on the day of the data release, all broadcasters shall have to notify BARC India latest by Monday of that week. Any requests for CERs received after the above deadline will be released on the following data release day.


The CER quota will be made available upon request starting from Week 14 of 2022.

i              v) Release of Past 13 Weeks News Data


�           a) As per guidance received, only the past 13 weeks data prior to Week 10 2022, will be released (i.e., for Week 49 2021 to Week 9 2022).

•             Only rolled data will be released for this period (no unrolled data will be made available).

•             b) Option provided to Broadcasters/Channels to opt-out from receiving the Past data:


•             Opting out will result in not having any data for that channel in YUMI for the entire ecosystem.


•             Data of all channels that opt-out, would be clubbed together under “Other Channels” to ensure that the roster of channels used to estimate for Total TV or Total News remain unchanged from previously released data.


•             Broadcasters were requested to convey their decision to opt-out, in writing, prior to 17th Feb 2022.


•             c) The opt-out choice for News channels for the past 13 weeks data is a one-time choice that cannot be changed thereafter.


•             Once the data is published (or not), as per the choice of the broadcaster, BARC will not be in a position to change the opt-out status at a later date.


•             Data of all channels not choosing to opt-out will automatically be published and will be available to all YUMI subscribers.


The data would be released as per the Augmented Data Reporting Standards for the News genre and its usage would be governed by the terms and conditions as laid down in this policy.

Schedule of Release of Past 13 Weeks Rolled data for News channels, will be in three tranches as per the table below.

i              vi) Currency Data Usage Guidelines for News and Special Interest Genres


Data as per the Augmented Data Reporting Standards is distinct from the weekly “unrolled data” for other genres. Hence, there are some specific considerations to be followed for its appropriate usage and meaningful analysis – both for internal as well as external purposes. 8 | P a g e


These “DOs and DONTs” for channels from the News and Special Interest genres, for which “4-week rolling average” is available in the YUMI Software, are outlined below:

Rolled data must not be extrapolated/re-calculated to derive projections of Unrolled estimates. Similarly, unrolled data of channels must not be extrapolated/re-calculated to derive projections of Rolled data sets. Averages calculated manually from an unrolled YUMI database cannot, and must not, be compared to the averaged values in the rolled YUMI database.

All viewership data that is published in any public domain will continue to be governed by BARC India’s Guidelines for Fair and Permissible Usage published on the BARC India website from time to time.

All modules in YUMI are available for analysis of rolled data of News and Special Interest genre channels. However, use of advanced modules (e.g., channel switching module) should be undertaken with the consideration that the rolled data is a 4-week’s average.

i              vii) News Query Resolution for Current & Past Data


Post the release of the audience estimate as per Augmented Data Reporting Standards for the News Genre, all current week subscriber queries/complaints would be closed within 10 days.

Queries/Complaints related to past data i.e., data up to a maximum of 4 weeks preceding the week of News data release (i.e., data of Week 6 2022), will be closed within 21 days.

Queries/Complaints based on past 9 weeks data which is older than 4 weeks preceding the week of News data release (i.e., data of Week 49 2021) will be addressed within 28 days.

•             • If BARC receives queries related to current week and also for past data for the same channels, priority would be given to current week’s data queries. Queries related to past data, will be addressed sequentially after closing the current week’s queries.



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