BARC-IIT Partnership: Students Give Innovative Solutions to Analyse TV Viewing Trends

New Delhi, Dec 28: Measurement of television viewership in India is set to get reshaped by advanced technology in the days to come. The Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) of India is getting together with the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) to come up with NextGen technology solutions that could address the many challenges of accurate measurement of television viewership.

India boasts of 197 million (19.7 crore) households with televisions. BARC is committed to provide the most reliable methodologies for measurement of television viewership.

BARC seeks alternative for TRP rating mechanism

The partnership involved students from different IITs participating in the process. They presented new solutions to measure viewership trends and habits of individuals across all television viewing households (83.6 crore individuals). BARC was seeking methods to identify channels and advertisements besides coming up with an alternative to the Television Rating Point (TRP) rating mechanism. At present, BAARC uses button pushing and meters to record viewership data from households in the sampled panel.

Students of ten IITs present solutions, TYSS Santosh of IIT Kharagpur bags gold medal

Students from ten IITs participated and presented their solutions. IIT Kharagpur student TYSS Santosh received the gold medal for coming up with the best solution. A final year student of B.Tech, he would be getting an opportunity to do a summer internship with BARC. His solution could alter bulky hardware and transform them to smart assistants which would be far more user friendly than the current hardware. It could also reduce dependency on third parties for identification of channels.

The solutions given by students would be tested for feasibility by BARC and if applicable, they would be incorporated in the system to strengthen the measurement procedures.

BARC COO Romil Ramgarhia stresses that the Indian television industry is dynamic and evolving. A range of factors impact data collection and analysis, therefore it is important that BARC keeps forecasting and innovating. The idea behind the partnership with IITs is not just to upgrade technologies and methods but also to encourage students to move beyond classrooms and research labs and take technology to the end users.