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TV News ratings will have to wait as MIB asks BARC to maintain status quo

It will take some more time before TV ratings for the News genre are released on a weekly basis by BARC India. As per media reports, the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting (MIB) has written to BARC India to maintain “status quo” regarding News channels ratings.

The MIB in its letter stated that the 4-member committee headed by Prasar Bharati CEO Shashi Shekhar Vempati, which it had formed in November 2020, was in the process of examining the current TRP system and identifying the lags in the system, along with how it can be strengthened, made more robust and transparent.

As reported earlier, this committee is studying different aspects of the TV rating system in India as they have evolved over a period of time. The committee will also carry out an appraisal of the existing system; examine TRAI’s recommendations notified from time to time, overall industry scenario and addressing the needs of the stakeholders and make recommendations for robust, transparent and accountable rating system through changes, if any, in the existing guidelines.

Also read:

MIB steps into TV ratings ecosystem; sets up committee led by Prasar Bharti CEO

NBF seeks MIB’s intervention in resumption of news channel ratings

BARC to pause audience estimates (ratings) of news channels

While announcing the formation of the committee, MIB had notified, “It has been found, based on the operation of the guidelines for a few years, that there is need to have a fresh look on the guidelines, particularly keeping in view the recent recommendations of TRAI, technological advancements/ interventions to address the system and further strengthening of the procedures for a credible and transparent rating system.”

MIB’s letter to BARC comes a few days after the News Broadcasters Federation (NBF) had written to I&B Minister Prakash Javadekar, seeking the Ministry’s intervention in resumption of news channels ratings. In its letter, NBF had blamed “a group of channels with deep pockets and heavy capital” behind the move to keep ratings in indefinite suspension. “While the suspension of ratings may not have financial bearing on them, it certainly has put an unimaginable amount of stress on our finances,” the NBF added.

As is known, BARC had ceased to publish the weekly individual ratings for all news channels from October 2020, in what it called was an exercise to improve their statistical robustness and to significantly hamper the potential attempts of infiltrating the panel homes. For this, BARC’s Technical Committee has been reviewing and augmenting the current standards of measuring and reporting the data of niche genres.

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