TV audience rating body BARC India has confirmed that it has partnered with Nielsen/Kantar joint venture TAM India, to form a new meter management company. According to a statement issued by BARC, ratings data produced by the new firm will be the sole trading currency for the country.
BARC (Broadcast Audience Research Council) was launched in May, after complaints by a number of broadcasters of inaccuracies and anomalies in data provided by TAM. Earlier this month, a report on www.financialexpress.com suggested that the possibility of a merger was being discussed.
Today, the organisations have confirmed that their new company will run meter operations supplying raw data to BARC India. Meters will be deployed based on BARC's sample design, and the ratings will be computed and disseminated through BARC India's software. The meter company will have the meter assets and panel management operations of the present BARC India and TAM India panels, which will be jointly owned by BARC India, Nielsen and Kantar with management control resting with BARC India. Initially, the new company will have 34,000 meters covering all of India, and will supply raw data to BARC, which will use its own statistical processes and sampling design.
Commenting on the development, Punit Goenka (pictured), Chairman of BARC India, stated: 'This partnership is a big step forward and in this era of cooperation, we welcome this move forward as a joint industry body. The technology and methodological prowess of BARC, combined with the extra meters and the field force will definitely help the industry progress'.
Web sites: www.barcindia.co.in , www.niesen.com and www.kantarmedia.com .