It also updated it fair usage policy guidelines on the website on February 14, when the data for Week 6 (February 2-8) was to be published.
“To set the record straight, BARC India has not stopped publishing its viewership data. Every week, at 11 am sharp, all our subscribers have been getting all-India weekly data without a hitch for the last 175 weeks, including the last two weeks that correspond to the new tariff order (NTO) transition,” the rating agency said.
BARC India added it has published last two weeks’ data with the caveat that there are changes taking place on ground due to NTO roll-out because of which viewership numbers will be volatile during the transition period.
The Indian Society of Advertisers, too, has advised its members that the data should not be used for media planning and buying in the transition period. However, the weekly data page on BARC India’s website continued to display the aforementioned message at the time of going to print.
“We also publish a limited amount of data on our website - intended only for larger benefit and information of trade and media. We temporarily held back release of this select headline data on our website. We did this purely to avoid misrepresentation of such data (top 5 channels/programmes, etc) without looking at the larger context of NTO roll-out and resulting volatility which could be misleading, lead to confusion and be counter-productive,” BARC reiterated.
Lastly, the statement added that Trai has advised that BARC should consider resuming the display of top channels and programmes data on its website which it shall consider after discussion with its stakeholders. BARC ownership includes 60 per cent stake with broadcasters, and 20 per cent each with advertisers and media agencies.