TRP scam: BARC suspends ratings of TV news channels for three months

Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) on Thursday decided to suspend its weekly ratings of TV news channels for a period of three months amid alleged TRP scam by few news channels.

BARC in a statement said, “it has proposed that it’s Technical Committee review and augment the current standards of measuring and reporting the data of niche genres, to improve their statistical robustness and to significantly hamper the potential attempts of infiltrating the panel homes.”

“This exercise would cover all Hindi, Regional, English news and Business news channels with immediate effect. Therefore, starting with the ‘News Genre’, BARC will cease publishing the weekly individual ratings for news channels during the exercise. This exercise is expected to take around 8-12 weeks, including validation and testing under the supervision of BARCs Tech Comm. BARC will continue to release weekly audience estimates for the genre of news by state and language,” the statement added.

Welcoming the decision of BARC, News Broadcasters Association (NBA) said, “We welcome the decision of the BARC to suspend the measurement of television viewership ratings of news channels for a period of twelve weeks. NBA, which represents the news broadcasters, believes that the suspension is an important step in the right direction.”

“BARC which measures TV viewership on behalf of broadcasters, advertisers and advertising agencies, should use these twelve weeks to completely overhaul its systems and restore the credibility of the information it collects about What India Watches,” NBA added.