TRAI recommends structural reform in BARC India to improve credibility of TV ratings

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has recommended changes in the television measurement and rating systems review. The regulatory body has advised structural reform in the present body of Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) India, the official currency on television measurement. It has stated that the changes are required to mitigate the potential risk of conflict and increase credibility and transparency of TV ratings. The industry watchdog has also advised changes in the composition of the board of BARC India, according to which, the board should have at least 50 per cent independent members including measurement technology experts. Equal representation of AAAI, IBF, ISA has also been suggested. Moreover, an oversight committee has been recommended to guide the measurement body in the areas of research, design, analysis and more. The need of multiple data collection agencies has also been mentioned for credible and accurate collection of data. The Oversight Committee shall be broad-based with representation from the National Council of Applied Economic Research, IIM, IIT, media research expert and demography expert, nominee from the ministry of information & broadcasting, and TRAI. The Committee should also be responsible for nomination/appointment of independent members of the Board as well as to give policy direction to BARC India, if it is required. “Once multiple agencies come forward for rating, BARC should limit its role to publishing the ratings, and framing methodology and audit mechanism for the rating agencies, so that the number of agencies can develop multiple rating systems leveraging new technologies,” TRAI said in an official statement.