Need immediate resumption of viewership ratings: NBF to Anurag Thakur

The news broadcaster body met with the I&B minister on Tuesday.

Mumbai: Governing board members and senior member broadcasters of News Broadcasters Federation (NBF) met with the minister of information and broadcasting, Anurag Thakur, on Tuesday.

During the meeting, members of NBF highlighted the need for the immediate resumption of viewership ratings for the news genre. The ratings "have been unilaterally paused and have severely impacted the sustainability of news channels", they said. 

The new broadcast body apprised the I&B minister of key issues facing the news industry, recent growth and trends in the broadcasting sector, and challenges faced by news broadcasters in recent times.

“It was a pleasure to meet and exchange views with the NBF governing board led by Arnab Goswami," said Anurag Thakur. "It was a productive exchange of views and I look forward to engaging with the NBF on issues regarding news broadcasting and the role of news broadcasting in strengthening our democracy," he added.

The NBF governing board informed the minister about key initiatives undertaken by the body to provide greater representation to channels broadcasting in various languages and on further steps to strengthen regulation among member channels.

The NBF delegation included Republic Media Network, editor-in-chief, Arnab Goswami; TV9 News Network, CEO, Barun Das; Prag News, founder/MD, Sanjive Narain; Pride East Entertainment, chairperson/MD, Riniki Bhuyan Sarma; ITV Network founder/promoter, Kartikeya Sharma; Fourth Dimension, CEO, Shankar Bala; TV9 Bharatvarsh, news director, Hemant Sharma; News Nation, editor-in-chief, Manoj Gairola; MHOne, chairperson, Mahendra Bhatla; Newsfirst Kannada, business head, Divaakar S; NBF and Eshita, secretary-general, and associate for policy and regulations of NBF, R Jai Krishna.

“The meeting of NBF members with the Minister was a wonderful opportunity to apprise him about the steps we have taken to build India’s largest federation of news broadcasters," said NBF president Arnab Goswami. "The Minister has heard our views and concerns in detail and we look forward to working with the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to make the news broadcasting sector even stronger."

Shankar Bala called the meeting "path-breaking" and said, "We have particularly stated that it is essential to release the viewership ratings for news channels, which were unilaterally stopped. The resumption of the publication of news ratings will ensure fair play and measurement-driven competitive news industry."

“The highly competitive news TV genre certainly needs a level-playing field for new promising players both in the national arena and regional markets. We felt extremely assured after our meeting today," said Barun Das.

“As a team, NBF put forth the problems we tend to face and the ways in which we want to raise and address our concerns. At least, we can go forward and help regional industries survive, like ours. The minister gave us a patient hearing and we are very grateful to the Ministry. We are now looking forward to the future and ways as to how we can progress together," said Riniki Bhuyan Sarma.

“The minister heard out all the matters raised by various members of the NBF. I would like to thank the minister for hearing the viewpoints of all news channels from across India and from regional channels as well," said Kartikeya Sharma.

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