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ABP Network’s Avinash Pandey backs BARC’s decision to pause ratings

On Thursday, TV audience measurement company BARC India had decided to suspend TV ratings for news channels for 8-12 weeks in view of recent developments and to maintain integrity of data reporting and robustness of measurement. This exercise covered all Hindi, Regional, English News and Business News channels with immediate effect.

The News Broadcasters Association (NBA) has welcome the decision by BARC, stating that "the suspension is an important step in the right direction".

Reacting to BARC's decision, Avinash Pandey, CEO, ABP Network, which operates 10 language news channels, remarked, "It is certainly a crucial and important step towards ensuring and improving statistical robustness in the measurement system. Reviewing the current protocols will lead to more secure safeguards and best practices. The onus is now on the industry and the measurement body to collaborate and address this situation at the earliest in all earnestness."

Recently, Mumbai Police had claimed that three news channels - Republic TV, Fakt Marathi and Box Cinema - had been accused of manipulating TRPs by tampering some of the bar-o-meters (measurement meters) installed across 44,000 homes.

BARC India has authorised Meterology Data (MDL), which is a subsidiary and functions at arm’s length, to undertake panel home operations through its authorised vendors. One of such authorised vendor is Hansa Market Research (Complainant in the FIR filed at Kandivali, Mumbai), who is authorised to undertake the Panel Home installation, maintenance, and operations in Mumbai on behalf of MDL under an agreement with strict confidentiality.

The Mumbai Police has arrested two former Hansa Research employees, Vinay Tripathi and Vishal Bhandari, for allegations of tampering.

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