BARC to not give ratings to news channels for three months
New Delhi : Amid the controversial allegations of tampering with the BARC ratings for monetary benefits by some of the news channels, the agency has decided not to provide statistics for the next three months, to "review and augment the current standards" of data.
In a statement today, ratings agency BARC said the move is in order to "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". The suspension of ratings applies to all English, Hindi, regional and business news channels.
The News Broadcasters Association, which represents private news channels in the country, has welcomed BARC's move.
"Recent revelations have brought disrepute to the measurement agency and by extension the broadcast news media. The corrupted, compromised, irrationally fluctuating data is creating a false narrative on What India Watches and has been putting pressure on our members to take editorial calls that run counter to the journalistic values and ideals of journalism," said Rajat Sharma, president of News Broadcasters Association.
One of the channels – Republic TV – has gone to Supreme Court, demanding a CBI probe against the allegations made by Mumbai Police in the matter. However, the top court has refused to admit their petition and asked them to approach the Bombay High Court "like any other citizen facing investigation".
The investigation into the alleged fake ratings case is based on a complaint by Hansa, a private company involved in assessing viewership.