TV ratings body TAM has decided to exit its viewership measurement business and partner with rival agency BARC to set up a meter management company.

Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC), India, would now be the single viewership data provider from February 29 onwards, according to a statement.

Several broadcasters have in the past expressed dissatisfaction over TAM ratings.

A joint venture between BARC and TAM -- Meterology Data Pvt Ltd. (MDL) -- which is a meter management company, was launched today.

The new entity will commence operations in the next couple of weeks "as TAM India exits TV viewership measurement business effective February 29, 2016," the release said.

As part of the new system, all TAM India meters will be re-deployed in panel homes selected by BARC India's sample design.

The joint venture will help BARC India in growing its sample size.

In MDL, BARC India will have full management control with a 51 per cent stake, while TAM India -¿ which includes Nielsen and Kantar -¿ will have 49 per cent stake, the statement said.

"Up to this point, BARC India and TAM India, both have been generating and reporting TV viewership data individually ... Now, with the completion of this JV, BARC India will be the single provider of TV viewership data," it said.

MDL's role will be to run and manage the meter operations and supplying raw data to BARC India. TV viewership data will be computed and disseminated through BMW (BARC India Media Workstation).

Meanwhile, TAM India will continue to provide various other services like AdEx services of TV, Print & Radio, Bollywood & Music Monitoring Dashboards; Audience Measurement in Radio (RAM), Sports Sponsorship ROI Measurement (TAM Sports) and PR Measurement data and Audit services (Eikona).

BARC India was set up in 2012 through joint efforts of broadcasters, advertisers and media agencies.

"We are happy to state that the joint venture company is complete and all set to kick-off operations," said BARC India CEO Partho Dasgupta. Kantar CEO Eric Salama and Nielsen MD Prashant Singh also expressed happiness about the partnership.

TAM Media Research CEO LV Krishnan said it is heartening that TAM India's current 12,000 meters will be combined to give BARC India a larger and robust TV panel sample base.