Row Over Outlier Policy: Has BARC Formed Its Two-Man Committee In Haste?

Following the heated debates over its outlier policy, the BARC India Board has constituted a two-member committee to independently review the data authentication process as well as suggest ways to smoothly streamline the process. The committee comprises Former BARC India Chairman Nakul Chopra and Pravin Tripathi, who has been part of the outlier policy from the outset.

Hailing it as a great move, a BARC spokesperson told Adgully, “We at BARC India welcome the board’s decision because as a joint industry body, operating in compliance with the Ministry of I&B, we follow best practises for the industry. An independent overview of the process and any recommendation to improve are always welcome and we look forward to working with this committee.”

As is known, BARC India’s decision to include landing page data in its public viewership data following TDSAT’s ruling on placement of TV channels on landing page has triggered strong response from the broadcast industry, while some have supported BARC’s decision, there are many who are vehemently opposing it.

Those opposing BARC’s outlier policy have alleged that the data will favour those TV channels that can pay more for the reach. They have also pointed out that BARC’s outlier policy lacks transparency, since the industry body has maintained that it doesn’t have a mechanism to segregate the data from a bonafide TV channel and the data coming from the landing page.

Meanwhile, the broadcasters supporting the policy say that landing page could be a powerful marketing tool for TV channels.

With both the committee members being part of BARC’s executive committee, one wonders how impartial their findings would be considered by the broadcast industry. Given that BARC India is under tremendous pressure to find a resolution to this imbroglio soon, some industry consider the committee to be hastily created. It would have been more prudent on BARC India’s part to include third party members to offset complains about the impartiality of the findings.―Adgully

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