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BARC to Pause Audience Ratings of News Channels Amid 'Viewership Malpractice'

(Representative image: Reuters)

(Representative image: Reuters)

This exercise, covering all Hindi, regional, English News and Business News channels, has been taken up “to improve their statistical robustness and to significantly hamper the potential attempts of infiltrating the panel homes,” the BARC’ statement said.

The board of Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) on Thursday proposed its Technical Committee (Tech Comm) “to review and augment the current standards” of measuring and reporting the data of niche genres and cease publishing the weekly individual ratings for all news channels during the period.

This exercise, covering all Hindi, regional, English News and Business News channels, has been taken up “to improve their statistical robustness and to significantly hamper the potential attempts of infiltrating the panel homes,” the BARC’ statement said.

Starting with the ‘News Genre’, the move will take effect immediately and the exercise is expected to take around 8-12 weeks, including validation and testing under the supervision of Tech Comm.

Punit Goenka, the Chairman of BARC India said, “Given the most recent developments, the Board was of the opinion that a pause was necessitated to enable the industry and the Council to work closely to review its already stringent protocols and further augment them to enable the industry to focus on collaborating for growth and well-natured competitiveness”.

Meanwhile, the CEO of BARC India, Sunil Lulla, said, “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. Besides augmenting current protocols and benchmarking them with global standards, BARC is actively exploring several options to discourage unlawful inducement of its panel home viewers and further strengthening its Code of Conduct to address viewership malpractice”.

BARC India is a Joint Industry Company founded by stakeholder bodies that represent broadcasters, advertisers, and advertising and media agencies.

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