Mumbai: Mr. Sudhanshu Vats, the Group CEO of Viacom18 who also heads the measurement agency BARC India as Chairman and represents the Broadcasters Industry body IBF as Vice President, has called for unity among the stake holders and prepare for the new normal that will be driving the industry in future without wasting the precious time in courts.
While speaking on the issue that was pestering the Industry for the past couple of weeks. He welcomed the subsequent solution in the for of TRAI’s notification and said, “The recent note from TRAI on the LCN issue (titled ‘Listing of TV Channels on Electronic Programme Guide) is a welcome step in the right direction. It provides all market players with much-needed clarity and clearly spells out the regulator’s view on the issue.”
“Once again TRAI has taken the ‘consumer lens’ and ensured that she remains at the center of the discourse”added Vats.
At the backdrop of BARC India being dragged in to the Multiple LCNs issues, he reaffirmed his trust on the service of the joint industry body and upheld the technical aspects involved by the measurement agency and said, “As the dust settles on the matter, three key truths have been proven. The first pertains to BARC and its methods to measure what India watches. In that context, it is safe to say that watermarking is a modern, robust technology that has held the industry in good stead. In record time, BARC has earned a fair share of its currency of trust and all its stakeholders are committed to its mission, including the IBF which backs it in entirety”.
He also expressed his apprehension over the way BARC India was pressurized in the recent issue and said, “To be frank, it was wrong to drag BARC into the issue in the first place. The second truth requires us to introspect as an industry. It is unfortunate that some members have taken issue with the use of multiple LCNs when many have themselves set the precedent for it – either as a promotional or as a defensive tactic.”
Mr Vats reiterated the need for oneness among the industry stakeholders and called for consensus and unity to uphold the credibility rather than wasting time in court battles and said, “While this should now abate given the recent direction from TRAI, moving forward, all market players must create consensus internally rather than squander away the valuable time of the courts. Our ‘shared credibility’ as an industry should never be dented – especially not by our own actions”.
Finally, he demanded the industry to brace up for the new age of innovations that the industry will be witnessing in the near future that are capable of transforming the dynamics of the Indian Broadcast Industry and said,we look towards a ‘multi-screen future’, ‘Total Audience Measurement’ (i.e. measurement of content consumption across devices including handheld, desktop, TV etc.) will become the norm. In such an environment, all content players will look at innovative ways to increase their reach and sampling while focusing on delivering winning content. This is the new normal that we all need to prepare for. I’ve always thought of our industry as a large family with members who often quarrel but eventually come together. This time will be no different.”
Sudhanshu Vats – Chairman – BARC, Vice President – IBF & Group CEO – Viacom18