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BARC ratings create big monetisation opportunity for HD channels

For the first time, ratings for HD channels are being reported and measured on a weekly basis. Industry leaders applaud BARC’s efforts and wait for the data to evolve in the near future before taking a call

Aanchal Kohli | Mumbai | April 30, 2015


Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) India rolled out its first set of much awaited television ratings on April 29, 2015. Apart from the technology and advanced measurement systems, BARC provides a huge opportunity to broadcasters by calculating separate data for HD (High Definition) channels.

This is the first time that ratings for HD channels are being reported and measured on a weekly basis. The data uses BARC’s watermarking technology, which not only gives an opportunity to the respective channel custodians to establish their HD channels, but will also open a huge prospect for broadcasters to monetise their HD channels with detailed and efficient information. Interestingly, the HD channels out of the main groups saw a substantial amount of growth. As per BARC data, Zee TV HD has the highest time spent in Week 16 (Saturday, April 18-Friday, April 24, 2015), followed by Sony Six HD and Colors HD across HSM.

In terms of gross rating points (GRPs) for HD channels, Colors HD led the Hindi GEC genre with 14 GRPs followed by Zee TV HD with 5 GRPs. Star Plus and Sony HD were at No. 3 with 3 GRPs each.

BestMediaInfo spoke to a cross-section of industry stalwarts to understand the implications of the HD ratings and gauge their reactions to the ratings numbers.

Partho Dasgupta Partho Dasgupta

Partho Dasgupta, ?Chief Executive Officer, BARC India, remarked, “For the first time, India will see HD channels being reported weekly and separately. Over time, this could emerge as a quality conscious for a large niche genre by itself and we are seeing the first signs of that. We have seen that people who choose HD see it for a substantial time. Zee HD, for example, has the highest time spent in HSM in the segment.”

Shashi Sinha Shashi Sinha

Shashi Sinha, Chairman, Technical Committee, BARC India and CEO, IPG India Mediabrands, affirmed that this was a huge opportunity for broadcasters towards strengthening their HD channels. “This is the first time HD viewership will be measured on a weekly basis, which will open new ways for broadcasters to monetise their HD channels separately. As of now, in the overall HD genre all the channels have witnessed a good amount of growth, but sports channels eventually would be good gainers,” he noted.

Ashish Bhasin Ashish Bhasin

Ashish Bhasin, Chairman and CEO, Dentsu Aegis Network, South Asia, commented, “Due to lack of detailed viewership information, HD channels were going through a dark period in many ways, but with BARC coming in place, there are more chances for robust and detailed information on HD channels. Though it will help the channels in many ways, at the same time it is too early to predict any kind of trend. It is undoubtedly a good step, but one cannot bank upon just one week’s household data. Therefore, we all need to have patience and let the data stabilise and then take the call for action.”

Vivek Srivastava Vivek Srivastava

Vivek Srivastava, Senior Vice-President & Head, English Entertainment Cluster, said, “The first week of BARC numbers are in sync with our expectations. Both our brands – Movies Now and Romedy Now – have been consistent leaders in their respective genres on TAM and we continue to lead the pack on BARC as well. On the HD front it is an indicative trend, but it is too early to comment on the same. We should wait for four to six weeks to let the data evolve and stabilise.”

Saurabh Yagnik Saurabh Yagnik

According to Saurabh Yagnik, VP & Business Head, Sony Pix & AXN India, “It will have a good impact and will give information about what is happening in the HD space among the consumers as HD channels reach premium consumers, but at the same time it is too early to comment on the same. I guess we should let the data evolve in the near future and then take a call.”

BARC has indeed pulled off a commendable feat, given the challenges of monitoring television viewership in a country with an estimated television audience of 153 million homes and growing.

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