BARC was established as an autonomous ‘not for profit’ body duly registered under the Companies Act, 2013.
BARC was constituted comprising representatives from all relevant industry associations being Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF), Indian Society of Advertisers (ISA) and Advertising Agencies Association of India (AAAI).
BARC India owns and manages a transparent, accurate, and inclusive TV audience measurement system.
Whereas Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF) has 60% stake holding, Indian Society of Advertisers (ISA) and Advertising Agencies Association of India (AAAI) both have 20%-20% stake holding.
How BARC came into existence?
In 2000s, there were two rating agencies Television Audience Measurement (TAM) and INTAM in India providing data for TRPs. There were major mismatch and disputes in the data provided by both agencies.
TAM bought over the INTAM in 2001, leading to cartelisation in the TRP system, killing any possibility of scrutiny of the figures provided by TAM.
As a result, despite having 35 out of the top 50 programmes in all TV homes, none of the Door darshan channels was present in the top 50 slots in the C&S (Cable & Satellite) homes category, as per the data of TAM.
In another such controversy, a news channel with just 4 per cent prime time news was declared as number 1(“sab se Tez”) by TAM instead of DD National with 92 per cent share in prime-time news.
Data was collected on the basis of 2,000 “BAR-O-meters” installed one each in a house, on the back cover of the TVs.
The controversy was raised in the parliament in 2008. Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) asked the Telecom Regulatory Authority (TRAI) to frame policy guidelines for rating agencies.
TRAI recommended for self-regulation through an industry-led body, the Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC). Thus, BARC came into existence.
In Jan. 2014, MIB notified Policy Guidelines for Television Rating Agencies and in 2015 BARC was accredited to television ratings in India. In 2016, TAM exited TV viewership measurement, not BARC is the sole TV rating service provider.