BARC suspends ratings of TV news channels for 3 months amid TRP controversy

Amid a controversy surrounding its viewership data for TV news channels, the Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) has decided to suspend its weekly ratings of TV news channels for a period of three months.

In an announcement, BARC said that it would continue to review and augment the current standards of measuring and reporting of data. "Will continue to release weekly audience estimates for genre of news by state and language", it added.

Reacting to the suspension, the News Broadcasters Assosiation (NBA) welcomed the decision as a step in the right direction.
BARC should use these twelve weeks to completely overhaul its systems and restore the credibility of the information it collects about what India watched, NBA said in a press release.

BARC measures TV viewership on behalf of broadcasters, advertisers and advertising agencies.

The alleged fake TRP scam came to light when ratings agency BARC filed a complaint through Hansa Research Group alleging that certain television channels were rigging TRP numbers. It was alleged that some families at whose houses metres for collecting data of viewership were installed were being bribed to tune into a particular channel.

Last week, Mumbai police commissioner Param Bir Singh had said that Republic TV and two Marathi channels -- Box Cinema and Fakt Marathi -- manipulated TRP for better advertisement revenue. Republic TV had rubbished Singh's claims.

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