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Channels having multiple slots on a platform are reported as a single channel: BARC


30 Sep 2012
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MUMBAI: Broadcasters who resort to dual
frequency as a strategy to increase their
viewership numbers have some good news.

As per the policy of Broadcast Audience
Research Council (BARC) India, even if a
particular channel is available on multiple slots or
feeds on a particular platform, the viewership
measurement agency’s Bar-o-Meters would read
all of them as one channel and would report its
ratings as a single channel as long as all/
multiple feeds carry the same unique watermark.

Dual frequencies are deployed by broadcasters
to ensure more sampling of their channel in the
hope of increasing their viewership.

The issue of dual frequency erupted when some
news broadcasters adopted this strategy to beat
their rivals. They bought dual frequencies on
several distribution platforms to increase their
numbers. Clearly, having multiple frequencies
does help in increasing viewership however, there
is a distribution cost to it.
In effect, multiple
instances of a
channel on a
single platform
are not very
dissimilar from its
availability across multiple platforms or
distribution modes, BARC India stated.

BARC India has deployed a technology that
measures viewership of a watermarked channel
irrespective of the platform it is available on and
the number of instances on that platform.

The agency uses audio watermarking to track
content through its broadcast cycle. A code is
inserted into the audio channel of the TV signal
that transmits through distribution platforms and
it cannot be deleted or overwritten in the
cryptographic family it adopts. This, BARC India
says, increases the integrity and reliability of

Audio watermarking has another advantage of
being platform-agnostic. Since the content is
finger-printed with a unique watermarked ID that
cannot be tampered with, its viewership can be
tracked irrespective of the feed being carried on
multiple platform.

Channels having multiple slots on a platform are reported as a single channel: BARC | TelevisionPost.com
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