BARC pauses weekly television ratings of all news channels for three months following TRP controversy

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  • BARC has proposed to review the current standards of measuring and reporting data and wishes to improve their statistical robustness.
  • BARC is also actively exploring several options to discourage unlawful inducement of its panel home viewers and further strengthening its Code of Conduct to address viewership malpractice.
  • Meanwhile, the Supreme Court refused to entertain Republic TV’s plea in the Television Rating Point (TRP) scam case and has asked the news channel to move to Bombay High Court.
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The Broadcast Research Audience Council (BARC) has decided to pause the weekly individual ratings for all news channels with immediate effect. BARC says that it has proposed reviewing the current standards of measuring and reporting data and improving their statistical robustness. This will cover all Hindi, regional, English and business news channels.

“Starting with the ‘News Genre’, BARC will cease publishing the weekly individual ratings for all 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,” BARC said in a release.

The TRP controversy
This comes after Mumbai police commissioner Param Bir Singh, earlier this week, had claimed that Republic TV and two Marathi channels - Box Cinema and Fakt Marathi -- manipulated Television Rating Point (TRP) for better advertisement revenue. Republic TV rubbished Singh's claims.
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The alleged fake TRP scam came to light when rating agency Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) filed a complaint through Hansa Research Group, alleging that certain television channels were rigging TRP numbers.

According to Mumbai Police, some of the people whose homes these barometers have been installed have confessed that they were paid ₹500 for keeping their TV sets switched on even if they didn't watch the channels.

The crime branch has so far arrested five persons in the case. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court refused to entertain Republic TV’s plea in the TRP scam case and has asked the news channel to move to Bombay High Court.
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“We at BARC take our role in truthfully and faithfully reporting ‘What India Watches’ with the greatest sense of responsibility and work with integrity to ensure that our audience estimates (ratings) remain true to their purpose”. Sunil Lulla, CEO, BARC India

BARC is also actively exploring several options to discourage unlawful inducement of its panel home viewers and further strengthening its Code of Conduct to address viewership malpractice.

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