Home >industry >TV ratings: BARC, TAM end feud, join hands

New Delhi: A truce between competing television rating agencies—Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) and TAM Media Research Pvt. Ltd—led to the formation of a new meter management company on Thursday that will be the sole ratings provider for the broadcast industry.

BARC will hold a 51% stake and TAM 49% in the new entity, which will combine the back-end infrastructure—meter assets and panel management operations—of both.

The formation of the joint entity, which is yet to be named, implies the end of the road for television ratings provided by TAM, a TV audience measurement joint venture between market researcher Nielsen NV and the UK-based Kantar Group.

It will continue to provide its non-TV ratings services to clients.

The new firm will be jointly overseen by the BARC, Nielsen and the Kantar Group, with management control resting with BARC.

“We are happy to cooperate with BARC to be able to provide clarity and a large single sample for the industry and to keep India as a key market for us," said Eric Salama, chief executive officer, Kantar Group.

Meters will be deployed based on BARC’s sample design and the ratings will be computed and disseminated through its software.

Meters refer to the devices installed in houses across the country to capture viewership habits of television viewers.

This ratings data will be the sole trading currency for the country, giving the advertisers, broadcasters and agencies accurate and quality measurement of TV viewership.

“The technology and methodological prowess of BARC, combined with the extra meters and the field force will definitely help the industry progress," said Punit Goenka, chairman, BARC India.

To start with, the company will have 34,000 meters across India.

Data collected through these meters will be sent to BARC, which will use its own statistical processes and sampling design to cull out TV ratings.

BARC was formed in 2012 by broadcasters, advertising agencies and advertisers. The Advertising Agencies Association of India, the Indian Broadcasting Foundation and the Indian Society of Advertisers are its shareholders.

“This new venture represents our organization’s commitment to providing precise and stable data around the world and draws strengths from both BARC India and TAM India," said Steve Hasker, global president of Nielsen. “We look forward to the great coverage and representation this new partnership will deliver."

TAM India, in which Nielsen was a joint venture partner, has left a legacy in the TV rating business and the new venture with BARC India exemplifies the organization’s commitment to provide precise and stable data, said Prashant Singh, managing director, Nielsen India.

TAM India will continue to grow its businesses in the other areas, Singh said.

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