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NBF demands immediate release of audience data of news channels

It urges BARC not to come under pressure of vested interests.

New Delhi: The News Broadcasters Federation (NBF) has demanded immediate release of the audience measurement ratings of news genre by BARC. The regulator had suspended weekly data for news channels after the alleged TRP scam surfaced in October last year. 

Any further withholding of data beyond the initially stipulated 12 weeks would be “counterproductive,” stated the NBF. It also urged BARC to take corrective measures for future data. 

“News channels employ hundreds of thousands of media professionals and their livelihood depends on the revenues generated by news channel and is directly related to the audience measurement data (TRPs). Therefore, NBF calls upon the stakeholders of BARC to initiate steps to resume release of the ratings of news channels with immediate effect. We believe the data is also critical for both ISA and AAAI, the major stakeholders of the advertising fraternity,” the federation remarked in a statement.

NBF represents the largest group of national and regional news broadcasters and is committed to working with all industry stakeholders including Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF), Indian Society of Advertisers (ISA), as well as the Advertising  Agencies Association of India (AAAI) to resolve this issue.

Further, the collective has called upon BARC not to “come under pressure of vested interests” or allow such pressure to hold back the release of ratings. Many news broadcasters are free to air and are dependent on advertising income, and locking the release of ratings any further will severely impact them, it added.

“The regional news channels which are represented in a large part by NBF do not operate on large budgets and are hit harder by the decision to suspend ratings. Therefore looking at the large picture, the interests of all news broadcasters in India the current economic climate and the livelihoods of news ratings should be brought back as promised since the 12-week period is already over,” said the NBF.

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