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TRP saga: BARC to pause ratings of news channels

Mumbai: Amid the ongoing TRP (Television Rating Point) scandal, Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) board is all set to review its current standards of measuring, and pause the rating of news channels with immediate effect.

The exercise would cover all Hindi, Regional, English news and business news channels.

Starting with the ‘News Genre’, BARC will not publish the weekly individual ratings for all news channels during the exercise. The exercise is expected to take around eight to 12 weeks including validation and testing under the supervision of BARC Tech Comm.

“Given the most recent developments, the BARC Board was of the opinion that a pause was necessitated to enable the industry and BARC to work closely to review its already stringent protocols and further augment them to enable the industry to focus on collaborating for growth and well-natured competitiveness,” said Punit Goenka, Chairman of BARC India Board.

Sunil Lulla, CEO, BARC India, added: “We at BARC take our role in truthfully and faithfully reporting What India Watches’ with the greatest sense of responsibility and work with integrity to ensure that our audience estimates (ratings) remain true to their purpose”.

He shared that besides “augmenting current protocols and benchmarking them with global standards, BARC is actively exploring several options to discourage unlawful inducement of its panel home viewers and further strengthening its Code of Conduct to Address Viewership Malpractice”.

The development comes after the Mumbai Police busted a major fraud of manipulating TRP (Television Rating Point) data by at least three TV channels and nabbed two persons with regard to it, earlier this month.

Concerned about police commissioners giving interviews: SC

New Delhi: Supreme Court on Thursday, during the hearing of Republic TV plea against the summons issued by the Mumbai Police to the news channel in connection with the alleged Television Rating Point (TRP) scam, said the court is concerned about the Police Commissioners giving interviews.

A bench headed by Justice D.Y. Chandrachud and Justices Indu Malhotra and Indira Banerjee at the outset of the hearing said: “We are concerned about Police Commissioners giving interviews.” The Mumbai Police Commissioner held a press conference in the scam.

The bench asked senior advocate Harish Salve, representing Republic TV, to move the Bombay High Court in the matter. Justice Chandrachud in a lighter vein told Salve, “Your office is in Worli. And, the Flora Fountain is not too far from Worli.” The top court held a very short hearing on the Republic’s TV plea.

The top court observed that like any ordinary citizen facing investigation under CrPC, petitioners must also go to the High Court first. Salve agreed to withdraw the petition with the liberty to approach the High Court. The top court told Salve, “We must have faith in the High Court”.

The police have named Republic TV, India Today TV, Fakt Marathi and Box Cinema among the accused after its discreet investigation in the past few days.

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