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NBA urges BARC not to release Republic TV viewership data until LCN issue is resolved

MUMBAI: L’affaire Republic TV continues to throw up new nuances by the day. After writing to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) about the new channel’s presence on multiple LCNs/genres on several DPOs, distributors and MSOs, the News Broadcasters Association (NBA), on 17 May, written to  Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) CEO Partho Dasgupta  urging him not to release Republic TV’s viewership data until it completely stops the alleged malpractice.

NBA secretary-general Annie Joseph has informed BARC that Republic TV is not its member, and has warned it that the release of Republic TV’s data would be tantamount to “aiding and abetting such malpractices which will have serious consequences on the news broadcasting industry in India.”

Referring to market researcher Chrome Data & Analytics dual frequency report, the NBA has cautioned that “Republic TV’s dual LCN malpractice is rampant and widespread in over 15 major MSO headends pan-India which could have an over reaching influence of over 50 per cent spurious bias on English news viewership. This will completely distort the viewership ratings.”

The news association had earlier on 15 May written to BARC cautioning it about Republic TV’s distribution ploy and urged it  to follow the action it had agreed upon with the NBA in the past in case anyone violates the protocol and places a channel in several LCNs and genres.

BARC had in a statement two days ago informed indiantelevision.com that it would go ahead and release viewership data – even for Republic TV; the new set of numbers are slated to be released on 18 May.

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