Television

TV18 complains to TRAI about Republic Bharat being placed outside its genre

TV18 provided names of cable TV networks for wrong placing of the channel

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MUMBAI: TV18 Broadcast has written a letter to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) against the recently launched Hindi news channel Republic Bharat. The complaint is regarding the channel being placed outside the Hindi news genre to drive up viewership.

“The action of placing ‘Republic Bharat’ of ARG Outlier Media outside its relevant genre is also a violation of authority’s broadcasting regulation as framed by the Authority (specially , sub-regulations 2 of regulation 18 of the Telecommunication (Broadcasting and cable) Services Interconnection (Addressable Systems) Regulations, 2017) and as such, impermissible,” TV18 said in the complaint.

It is believed that other competing Hindi news channels have also complained to the TRAI on the use of non-Hindi news genre by Republic Bharat.

The broadcaster has also provided the names of cable TV platforms that are carrying Republic Bharat on non-Hindi news genres. It has also provided sample photographs as proof. It has requested TRAI to investigate the matter and take appropriate action against all those who are violating the regulations.

TV18 said that the channel is being placed in other genres to allow it to “illegally garner higher BARC ratings and increase viewership”. It further stated that genres where Republic Bharat is being placed either have much better viewership and ratings when compared with the Hindi news genre or ensure that the channel catches the viewer’s attention and gets sampled in non-Hindi news genre.

“As such, by placing Republic Bharat in non-Hindi news genres, an unfair and undue advantage is being given to ‘Republic Bharat’ when compared with its competing channels that continue to be listed in correct / Hindi news genre,” TV18 said in its complaint to the TRAI.

“In view of above, we humbly request Hon. Authority to kindly take cognizance of this complaint and investigate into the matter rather, in terms of applicable laws, take stem action against all those who may be / have been involved in listing of Republic Bharat outside its genre so as to deprecate such malpractices in future,” TV18 said in the letter to TRAI.

In May 2017, sister channel Republic TV was also accused of being carried in multiple genres (http://www.indiantelevision.com/television/tv-channels/news-broadcasting...) . TRAI took note of this and called out DPOs for not heeding cable TV guidelines. Apparently, several channels resort to this tactic to gain extra viewership, especially those in the news genre.

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