What BARC's temporary cessation of news channel ratings means for all

BARC's TechChomm review of how news channels are measured & the data secured will take 8-12 weeks

MUMBAI: With all the hullabaloo around the news TV space and allegations of rigging flying thick and fast, the viewership monitor BARC has decided to take a breather as far publishing of  weekly ratings of the purveyors of news is concerned. This temporay cessation  could impact the overall industry - especially advertisers and those involved in the news business. More so because advertisers and agencies will not have access to the de facto ratings cuurrency that allows them to price the air time and TV spots they buy from the news channels.  

The committee has shared its point of view on why it has taken such a step. Excerpts:-

Why has BARC India taken the step of not reporting news channels? 

In the light of the recent developments, the BARC board has proposed that its technical  committee (Tech Comm) review and augment the current standards of measuring  and reporting the data of niche genres, to improve their statistical robustness and to  and to significantly hamper the potential attempts of infiltrating the panel homes.  This exercise would cover all Hindi, regional, English news and business news channels  with immediate effect.  

Therefore, starting with the ‘News Genre,' BARC will cease publishing the weekly  individual ratings for news channels during the exercise. This exercise is expected to  take around eight to 12 weeks including validation and testing under the supervision of  BARCs TechComm. The monitoring service will continue to release weekly audience estimates for the  news genre by state and language. 

Which genres will be affected by this change?  

The decision will initially impact all Hindi, regional, English news and business news  broadcasters. BARC will continue to provide estimates for the overall news genre  every week by state and language.  

For how long will the data not be available for news channels?  

The BARC TechCom  will revisit the rule sets of niche genres to improve their  statistical robustness and to significantly hamper the potential attempts of infiltrating  the panel homes. Starting with the news genre, BARC would stop declaring the individual  channel ratings for news channels while this reworking of the rule sets is being done.  This exercise would take around eight to 12 weeks including validation and testing under the  TechComm's supervision. BARC will keep its stakeholders updated as it  augments these processes.  

Which data and analysis will not be possible or will not be available because of the withholding of ratings? 

The withholding of ratings will, inter -alia, will lead to non – availability of the following  viewership variables for impacted channels: 
• Impressions  
• Daily reach  
• Average Time Spent (ATS)  
• Cumulative reach  
• Rating % 

Since these variables will not be available, analysis such as viewer movement and  behavioural track analysis will not be possible.  

However, the above details will be available at a genre level.  

Will BARC be collecting and processing data for impacted channels during  this period? Will the individual channel data be released post this period?  
BARC will continue to collect and process data for the impacted channels. BARC's TechComm  will advise a protocol for release of individual channel data,  post its work on niche channels.  

Will playout data be collected during this period for the impacted  channels? 

Yes, playout data will be collected for the impacted channels during this period. 

Will Spot Trek service be impacted due to this withholding of ratings?  

BARC will continue to confirm spot – related data to its Spot Trek subscribers.  There will be no impact on the Spot Trek service.  

Are the numbers released by BARC inclusive of the impacted news  channels?  

The data for news channels will still be included in the audience estimates for  aggregate such as total TV. It is only the audience estimates for the individual  channels that will be masked. 

What data will be reported for the impacted news channels?  

BARC will continue to release audience estimates for the overall news genre every  week by state and language. However, channel–wise data will not be released.  

I am not a news channel. Why has my data been withheld?  

Individual news channels audience estimates will not be reported. The genre  classification is determined by “Policy for Genre Classification of TV Channels” as last  updated in September 2019 and as updated on the BARC website. This classification is  updated on a quarterly basis.  

As per the BARC policy on genre classification, a TV channel is classified as a news  channel, when more than 60 per cent of the TV Channel content for a given week averaged  across a calendar quarter from 6:00 Hrs. – 26:00 Hrs. consists of news and news- related  content. 

Are genres other than news genres also going to be impacted?  

The BARC TechComm will review and augment the current  standards of measuring and reporting the data of niche genres, to improve their  statistical robustness and to and to significantly hamper the potential attempts of  infiltrating the panel homes. 

Latest Reads
News channels data blackout could devalue TV ratings as a currency

The news genre relies more heavily on TV ratings than others, argued industry stakeholders during a virtual webinar organised by on Tuesday, highlighting that a major part of their revenues comes from advertising and discontinuation of TV ratings has impacted their ability to...

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
Print beats TV, radio; Twitter most credible digital news medium: Ormax report

Mumbai: Print media continues to lead with a credibility index of 62 per cent, followed by television (55 per cent) and radio (54 per cent). Social media platform Twitter is still the most credible digital medium for news, according to media analytics and consulting firm Ormax Media, which launched...

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
Zee Group expands across South India; launches four regional news channels

Mumbai: Expanding its footprint across South India, Zee Group on Tuesday announced the launch of four digital news channels - Zee Tamil News, Zee Kannada News, Zee Malayalam News and Zee Telugu News to cater to the tech-savvy young viewers in the southern market.

Television TV Channels GECs
TV ad volume soars in 2021, Oct-Dec records highest quarterly growth since 2019: Barc India

Mumbai: The television ad volume recorded significant growth in 2021, beating the previous year’s performance, according to the latest data released by the Broadcast Audience Research Council (Barc). The total ad volume in October-December 2021 was in fact recorded to be the highest during a...

Television TV Channels Viewership
Eurosport India unveils its new look

Mumbai: Discovery Network's television sports channel Eurosport India has unveiled a fresh new look inspired by its mission to ‘Unlock the Power of Sport.’ This distinctive new identity will consolidate the overall look of Eurosport across platforms. Alongside the new visual identity, the brand is...

Television TV Channels Sports
M&E veterans Saurabh Varma, Utpal Acharya launch Content Engineers

Mumbai: Former Jio Studios chief marketing officer Saurabh Varma has joined hands with a former executive from Cinépolis Gulf and Sony Pictures Utpal Acharya to form a content creation studio – Content Engineers. According to a statement, the studio will put $50 million as an initial investment to...

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
Avik Chatterjee appointed as director-emerging sports at Star Sports

Mumbai: Disney Star India has appointed Avik Chatterjee as director-emerging sports at Star Sports, according to his LinkedIn profile. “I’m happy to share that I’m starting a new innings in my career as director - marketing at Star Sports (The Walt Disney Company)!” Chatterjee said in a LinkedIn...

Television TV Channels People
'OMG! Yeh Mera India’ returns with Season 8 on HistoryTV18

HistoryTV18 has launched the eighth season of ‘OMG! Yeh Mera India’, which went on air on Monday at 8 p.m. The new season sees the return of Byju’s as a sponsor and builds upon the legacy of earlier seasons. The ten half-hour episodes of the season will air every Monday, announced the channel.

Television TV Channels Viewership
Sony Sab to premiere ‘Goodnight India’ on 31 Jan

Mumbai: Sony Sab has announced the launch of a special late-night family show "Goodnight India" to help its viewers relax and savour the last 30 minutes of their day with fun-filled performances. Positioned as the 'raatwala family show,’ the show will premiere on 31 January at 10.30 p.m.

Television TV Channels GECs

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories

* indicates required