New Delhi, October 15: Amidst the ongoing controversy over the fake Television Rating Points (TRP) scam, Television Ratings Agency Broadcast Audience Research Council BARC India on Tuesday said, announced that they are the temporary suspension of weekly ratings of news channels across languages.
In a statement released by BARC, the audience measuring agency has said that their technical committee will now review and augment the current standards of measuring and reporting the data of niche genres to improve their statistical robustness.
The BARC said that it would cover all Hindi, Regional, English News, and Business News channels ratings in the new exercise with immediate effect. However, BARC will continue to release weekly audience estimates for the genre of news by state and language.
It further added, "Therefore, starting with the ‘News Genre’, BARC will cease publishing the weekly individual ratings for all news channels during the exercise. This exercise is expected to take around 8-12 weeks including validation and testing under the supervision of BARCs Tech Comm. "
“Given the most recent developments, the BARC Board was of the opinion that a pause was necessitated to enable the industry and BARC to work closely to review its already stringent protocols and further augment them to enable the industry to focus on collaborating for growth and well-natured competitiveness,” Punit Goenka, Chairman of BARC India Board said.
Sunil Lulla, CEO, BARC India, “We at BARC take our role in truthfully and faithfully reporting ‘What India Watches’ with the greatest sense of responsibility and work with integrity to ensure that our audience estimates (ratings) remain true to their purpose”.
He added, “besides augmenting current protocols and benchmarking them with global standards, BARC is actively exploring several options to discourage unlawful inducement of its panel home viewers and further strengthening its Code of Conduct to Address Viewership Malpractice”.
BARC India owns and manages a transparent, accurate, and inclusive TV audience measurement system. Apart from the currency products to the TV industry, BARC India also provides a suite of Insight products designed for Broadcasters, Advertisers, and Agencies.
Moreover, the News Broadcasters Association (NBA) has welcomed the decision of the BARC to suspend the measurement of television viewership ratings of news channels for twelve weeks.
This comes amid when Mumbai Police earlier unearthed TRP scam. The alleged fake TRP scam came to light when BARC filed a complaint through Hansa Research Group, alleging that certain television channels were rigging TRP numbers. The Mumbai Police had filed a complaint against three channels namely Fakt Marathi, Box Cinema, and Republic-TV for manipulating television rating points. At least five people have been arrested by the city police which busted the scam earlier this month.