Viacom 18’s Sudhanshu Vats named Barc India chairman

Sudhanshu Vats will replace Punit Goenka, MD and CEO of Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd, who had taken over as Barc chairman in 2014


Sudhanshu Vats. Photo: Abhijit Bhatlekar/Mint
Sudhanshu Vats. Photo: Abhijit Bhatlekar/Mint

New Delhi: The Broadcast Audience Research Council (Barc) India, a joint industry body formed for measuring television viewership, on Tuesday named Sudhanshu Vats, group chief executive officer (CEO) at Viacom 18 Private Media Ltd. as its new chairman.

Vats will replace Punit Goenka, managing director and chief executive officer of Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd (ZEEL), who had taken over as Barc chairman in 2014.

“In a span of two years, BARC India has been able to build a strong TV viewership measurement system. I’m honoured to have been given the opportunity to take the work being done by the entire team to the next level,” said Vats.

Vats has been helming Viacom 18 since August 2012. Prior to that, he spent close to 20 years in Hindustan Unilever Limited, assuming different roles. He is also the chairman of the national media & entertainment committee at Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and vice-president of Indian Broadcasting Foundation.

“Being a veteran in the industry, Sudhanshu will bring in his larger perspective in the media and entertainment space. Punit, as the first chairman has given the team the right thrust and the Barc team thanks him for his whole hearted support,” said Partho Dasgupta, chief executive officer at Barc.

Goenka, who has been serving ZEEL since 2010, was the first chairman at Barc, when the organisation formed its board in 2014. Barc was set up in 2012 after broadcasters complained of inaccuracies and anomalies in data provided by India’s only audience measurement agency, TAM Media Research Pvt. Ltd, a joint venture between consumer information and insights firm Nielsen and Kantar Media.

“We started off with certain ideologies of being transparent, robust and being able to measure ‘what India watches’. The team at Barc India has been able to achieve this. We brought in a lot of changes in the TV viewership measurement system in order to make it comparable to global standards and to a great extent have been able to achieve that. I wish Sudhanshu all the best for all the future endeavours,” said the outgoing chairman Goenka.

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