Times Now has been vindicated, retains its leadership in reach & TVTs: Rahul Shivshankar
Among all the television genres, it is perhaps the News genre that is witness to a bitter battle for the numero uno spot week after week. Allegations of manipulation of the ratings even led to the suspension of BARC ratings for the News genre for a period of almost 17 months in 2020-2021. News TV ratings have been a subject for heated debates in several forums.
Amid fingers pointed out at BARC’s operations, Rahul Shivshankar, Editorial Director and Editor-in-Chief, Times Now, has reiterated his belief in the TV ratings agency. Addressing a media roundtable yesterday (December 5, 2022), Shivshankar said that the current system in BARC is clean and that “the process suggests there is absolute clarity”.
Speaking about the ratings numbers after BARC resumed releasing data for the News genre, he said, “We have been vindicated. If you look at Times Now, the TVTs have not really gone down.” He informed that after BARC resumed releasing data for the News genre, Times Now saw an improvement in its share, which went up from 24%, before BARC suspended the ratings, to 40% (Source BARC data). “Times Now has retained its leadership in terms of reach as well as TSV,” he added.
Source : BARC | 10L+| NCCS 22+AB | Pre Wk32-39'20 and Post Wk40-47'22 | All Days | Weekly Avg TVTs, Share%, Reach 000s and Daily TSV
Speaking about the real cost of the ratings manipulation in the News genre, Shivshankar candidly admitted that there has been an ad revenue hit of almost Rs 400 crore. “Because of this manipulation, hundreds of Times Now’s employees had to be let go. There is a very real human cost to this manipulation, which people are still glossing over,” he said.