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NBA, TV9 Network resolve differences over TV9 Bharatvarsh’s viewership

News Broadcasters Association (NBA) and TV9 Network have resolved their differences, and after discussing the matter mutually, both the parties have decided not to pursue the matter legally. With this, Associated Broadcasting (the parent company of TV9 Network) is back in NBA’s membership.

In a press statement issued, NBA said, “We look forward to working together with all the members in addressing the larger issues facing the news broadcasting industry.”

Meanwhile, reacting to this development, Barun Das, CEO, TV9 Network, said, “TV9 Network is delighted to return to NBA. As one of its founding members, I have proudly witnessed the long strides the NBA has taken in the rough terrain of self-regulation and in furthering the interests of the industry. I look forward to working with all our peers in these testing times.”

It may be recalled that in July 2020, NBA President Rajat Sharma had written to BARC India regarding the unprecedented growth of viewership of Hindi News channel TV9 Bharatvarsh, as well as the frequent substantial swings in the English genre. TV9 Bharatvarsh had surged to a strong No. 2 spot among Hindi News genre during the peak lockdown period, which was questioned by several in the industry.

Taking serious objection to defamatory references by the NBA to the TV9 Network and its people, the organisation issued a press release on July 14, 2020, wherein CEO Barun Das pointed out that TV9 Network, home to four leading regional news channels apart from TV9 Bharatvarsh – the No. 2 Hindi News channel – “was more concerned about the lives of journalists than ratings during the pandemic. That is why on March 22, two days before the Lockdown, we proposed to the NBA that the ratings regime should be suspended for a few weeks so that the industry did not compromise the lives of reporters and camerapersons in the quest for ratings”.

Das continued, “The very next day, the NBA rejected the proposal. Now that TV9 Bharatvarsh has garnered the biggest share of the market during the pandemic, obviously the shoe is on the other foot.”

He affirmed, “The fundamental reason behind our success is a concerted strategy of content, distribution and promotion aided by the astronomical rise in viewership during the early weeks of the lockdown. This has been discussed in relevant media forums openly, repeatedly and live.”

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