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BARC to release ‘analogue-free’ data today, increases panel size to 30,000

Addition of new homes, panel home churn and analogue switch-off will lead to on-ground changes which may further lead to flux in viewership in the coming weeks

The Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) India will release its first ‘analogue-free’ data set today (July 13). The audience measurement body had stopped recording viewership from the analogue homes from July 1. Barring Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, the measurement body had removed all the analogue homes from its sample, further helping the DAS-IV/analogue switch-off (ASO) that the government has implemented.

Partho Dasgupta

Partho Dasgupta, CEO, BARC India, said, “Starting July 1, 2017, we have stopped measuring analogue homes, with the exception of Tamil Nadu. We had informed the industry about this switch-off a few months back. With the efforts of the government, distribution platforms and broadcasters, what we have seen is that most of the states had already migrated to digital. But a few markets were still on analogue. We will not be reporting those homes anymore.”

According to BARC India’s BI 2016 findings, 42 per cent homes were analogue as on March 2016. However, this proportion had reduced significantly in the last 12 months. BARC India had started the process of removing analogue homes from its panel in April this year, after the Government of India announced the analogue switch-off on March 31.

Ahead of this development, BestMediaInfo.com had analysed the impact of ‘analogue-free’ viewership data in an article titled ‘BARC to stop measuring analogue; viewership trend unpredictable’.

In another significant development, the BARC India panel has been upscaled to 30,000 bar-o-meters. It had a sample of 20,000 homes till now, and was expected to add 10,000 more after March this year. The new meters have now been seeded across the length and breadth of the country and a field process is underway wherein the families, where the bar-o-meters are set up, will be explained the method to use them. BARC will soon start reporting from the newly added homes in next few weeks.

Explaining the impact of both analogue-free and additional panel homes, Dasgupta said, “The high churn has been largely on account of BARC India’s proactive move against panel infiltration. Addition of new homes, panel home churn and analogue home switch-off will lead to on-ground changes. This may in turn lead to flux in viewership of some channels for the coming weeks.”

BARC India claimed that its rotation of reporting panel homes has been far higher than the mandated requirement of 10 per cent.

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