‘Suspend Republic TV’: NBA to Indian Broadcasting Foundation
The NBA said that the WhatsApp exchanges between Arnab Goswami and Patho Dasgupta establish clear collusion.
The News Broadcasters Association on Monday, 18 January released a statement saying that the alleged WhatsApp exchanges between Republic TV editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami and former Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) CEO Patho Dasgupta establish clear collusion between the two in manipulating ratings.
As a result, the NBA has demanded Republic TV’s expulsion from the Indian Broadcasting Foundation.
The press release by the NBA notes that the manipulation of ratings was done “month after month by fraudulently manually reducing ratings of other channels to give Republic TV an unfair advantage.” It also expressed that it was shocked to see the messages exchanged between Goswami and Dasgupta.
The Board also called for Republic TV’s exclusion from the BARC rating system until the final court order on the matter, writing that “NBA demands that IBF membership of Republic TV should be suspended with immediate effect till the case related to manipulation of ratings is pending in the court.”
The statement also said, “These WhatsApp messages not only reflect manipulation of ratings but is also about powerplay. The messages exchanged go on to refer to the appointment of Secretaries, Cabinet reshuffle, access to the PMO (Prime Minister’s Office) and the workings of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.”
Highlighting BARC’s lack of transparency, the NBA appealed to the Broadcast Council to “make a clear statement about the veracity of its ratings in the period during the audit and also conduct an audit of the Hindi news genre; Expunge the data of the erring broadcaster and restate the real position of rankings of all news channels from the beginning; Explain the concrete steps that have been taken by BARC in the last three months to secure the ratings.”
The statement further said that BARC’s continued releasing of ‘meddled data’ has led to reputation losses, as well as immense financial losses to news broadcasters and thus, the council must provide an explanation for the same.
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