Television
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Review ongoing, BARC news ratings suspension not lifted

No clarity on the timeline for reinstating the TV news ratings by BARC

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NEW DELHI: It has already been three months since the Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) announced a 12-week suspension of TRP numbers for TV news channels, in the wake of the alleged TRP scam unearthed by the Mumbai police. However, the council did not release weekly data this Thursday as well. 

A BARC India spokesperson told Indiantelevision.com that the tech committee’s internal review is still ongoing and the timeline for reinstating TV news ratings will be intimated to all stakeholders and media “at the appropriate time.” 

The Mumbai police on 8 October 2020 had made the sensational claim of cracking a “major racket” active in manipulating TV ratings. Three channels were named in the initial press conference – Fakt Marathi, Box Cinema, and Arnab Goswami-led Republic TV. Following this, a major controversy erupted with all news channels calling out Goswami and his channels. On its part, Republic TV has maintained that it committed no wrongdoing, and the case was an exercise in vendetta by the Mumbai police.

BARC then decided to suspend TV news ratings for 12 weeks, beginning the third week of October for a thorough review to set more transparency and reliability in the system. It said in its statement, “This exercise is expected to take around 8-12 weeks including validation and testing under the supervision of BARC’s tech comm. BARC will continue to release weekly audience estimates for the genre of news by state and language." 

The alleged TRP scam has thus far attracted huge media attention, amounted to at least 15 arrests, including that of former BARC CEO Partho Dasgupta, former COO Romil Ramgariha, and Republic TV CEO Vikas Khanchandani.

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