News Nation’s Abhay Ojha weighs in the pros & cons of separate Pay & FTA data

BARC India has begun reporting Pay TV and FTA platform viewership data separately from last week (Week 27). Publicly, the split viewership data is available for Hindi GECs in Rural+Urban. 

Most of the broadcasters whom Adgully spoke to have welcomed this move and see this as adding another dimension to the resource deployment matrix. They also feel that true value (ad rates) of the GRPs would emerge with this move. However, there have been some who feel that splitting the viewership data would create further confusion in the market. According to them, it is not even relevant for genres like News. 

Sharing his insights on this issue, Abhay Ojha, President - Sales & Marketing, News Nation Network, listed both the positive and negative points of BARC India’s decision

The Positives 

According to Ojha, this decision of BARC to split Pay/ FTA platform viewership could be of benefit to all stakeholders. He further said, “From a broadcaster’s perspective, we can better optimise our organisational resources towards strategising GRP requirements as per the revenue strategy of the network. Alternatively, a planner in an agency can further zero in on the quality of GRP he/she requires, depending upon their brand’s core competence and DPOs will get better clarity on ROI of paid and FTA channels. Therefore, holistically it’s a welcome move.” 

The Negatives 

On the downside, Ojha noted that for Hindi News channels, it hardly mattered which platform was giving viewership, because national Hindi News channels are most widely distributed and are very dynamic, that is, depending upon every day events. 

He further pointed out, “Most of news channels are now being taken for frequency builders rather than reach builders ,therefore the pie of revenue is mostly left over after consumption on GEC, Movies, Niche, Vernacular channels, etc. Already, BARC is under the scanner on the several issues like landing pages, manual intervention in data, tampering, etc. This move is only to serve some vested interest and will further create confusion in the markets.”


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