Followed by the row over alleged rigging of viewership ratings by three top channels, BARC (Broadcast Audience Research Council) on Monday has taken a sensational decision as a part of the system revamp procedure.
In an official announcement, the Television ratings agency stated that the council has decided to suspend its weekly ratings of TV news channels for a period of three months.
In the line of which, all the English, Hindi, regional and business news channels will not have a measurement of TV viewership on behalf of broadcasters, advertisers and advertising agencies.
“BARC would use this 8-12 weeks time to review and augment the current standards of measuring including the validation and testing under the supervision of BARCs Tech Comm,” read the statement. However, BARC will continue to release weekly audience estimates for the genre of news by state and language.
Reacting to the suspension, the News Broadcasters Association (NBA) welcomed the decision as a step in the right direction. It all started with ratings agency BARC filed a complaint through Hansa Research Group alleging that certain television channels were rigging TRP numbers.
Republic TV is among the three channels being investigated while the two others are local channels in Maharashtra called Fakt Marathi and Box Cinema who allegedly gamed ratings and used them to spread fake narratives and gain ad revenues.
It can be noted that though the other two TV channels’ owners were arrested, no action is taken against Arnab Goswami, managing director and editor-in-chief of Republic channel.