NTV Europe unceremoniously decided to part ways with UK audience measuring body, BARB earlier this year, after it voiced its concerns about erratic figures and the BARB panel.
Surprisingly, NTV Europe decent numbers when BARB was reporting its data. However, this did not seem enough for the broadcaster. Talking about this, BizAsiaLive.com caught up with NTV Europe CEO, Subrina Hossain. She first told us the reasons why NTV Europe decided to leave BARB, “There are few very significant reasons. First the process is not straight forward. You always have to have an agent between BARB and the channels and it makes things very complicated as the agency is not always transparent.
She added, “Technical requirement is also quite difficult to meet, which causes additional cost on top of BARB’s fee.” Asked how much of an issue BARB’s panel was. Hossain said, “Yes small panel sizes is a big issue when you are comparing with other bigger channels. One will never able to achieve true ratings as they’re based on panel members. We don’t have any idea the profile of these members.”
Hossain spoke a little more about her relationship with BARB, saying, “You don’t even get any advice from BARB even though your paying for their service. You are paying every month just to get the ratings based on whoever is watching the channel on their panel which doesn’t represent the vast majority of the Bangladeshi/ethnic viewers. NTV being one of most popular Bangladeshi channel was not represented as it should have.”
Hossain also spoke about the inventory of NTV Europe, which did not give them much room for non-ethnic local clients due to agency clients. “Another reason is NTV’s in-house sales schedule is full therefore to accommodate agency ad requirements. We had to sacrifice our local clients. We couldn’t afford to do that as we truly believe in providing excellent service and customer satisfaction.”
Hossain concluded, “Overall BARB was not a clever business move for NTV. I think BARB only correctly represents the big channels. It is not the true representation of the actual viewers of our country. In future if BARB changes its method, then we’ll certainly have no problems in reconsidering our decision.”