In the light of several incidents where the television channels claim leadership by tweaking the rating data, the rating measurement body Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC), India has laid down rules according to which channels should use their ratings, particularly in public domain.
Before making a claim of leadership, the channels should do a comparison over at least four consecutive weeks of data. The period of comparison must cover at least four consecutive clock-hours of data. The tabulations used must be direct outputs of BARC India’s BMW user interface. The channels should not use any data derived by extrapolating or interpolating BMW outputs in the public domain.
Additionally, target audience must be clearly defined within the BARC India audience taxonomy. There should also be a clear definition of the comparison set.
BARC measurements intend to understand the television viewing habits of the Indian population. However, no technology is explored to capture and report the data of the entire India on ‘census’ basis. Hence, the viewing habits of only a representative sample is tracked and derived into conclusion. What is measureable as a slice or segment in one market/geography may be too small to measure in other. The ratings are usually derived from two factors – who watched and how long they have watched it.