TRP Scam: BARC Temporarily Suspends Ratings of News Channels

BARC India has taken this decision in light of the recent TRP scam.

2 min read
The TRP scam has prompted BARC to suspend ratings of news channels.

In light of the recent TRP scam, BARC (Broadcast Audience Research Council) Board has decided to suspend publishing the weekly individual ratings for news channels with immediate effect.

A statement issued by BARC reads,

"In light of the recent developments, BARC Board has proposed that it’s Technical Committee (Tech Comm) review and augment the current standards of measuring and reporting the data of niche genres, to improve their statistical robustness and to significantly hamper the potential attempts of infiltrating the panel homes".

The statement adds that the exercise is expected to take around eight to twelve weeks. "This exercise would cover all Hindi, Regional, English news and Business news channels with immediate effect. Therefore, starting with the ‘News Genre’, BARC will cease publishing the weekly individual ratings for 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".

BARC adds that while individual data for news channels might not be available, it will "provide estimates for the overall news genre every week by state and language".

The statement also adds that by not providing some variables such as "impressions, daily research, average time spent, cumulative reach and rating percentage" viewer movement and Behavioural Track Analysis will not be possible to gauge.

"However, the above details will be available at a genre level", the statement reads.

Explaining the need for this move, Punit Goenka, Chairman of BARC India Board, told,

“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.”

Recently, the Mumbai Police said in a press conference that it has busted a "TRP scam", whereby TRPs were being manipulated. The police named Republic TV and two other Marathi channels who, it said, were involved in the practice. Four people have been arrested in connection with the matter.

The other channels named are smaller regional channels like Fakt Marathi and Box Cinema.

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