BARC India will resume publishing news genre audience data from March 17

BARC India, the joint industry body for TV audience measurement, said on Monday it would resume publishing audience data for the TV news genre, including those of individual channels, from March 17.

The first set of data will come into effect on week 10 of 2022 (March 5-11).

The announcement came nearly a month after the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting issued a directive to the ratings body to “immediately publish” news channel ratings, suspended since October 2020.

“BARC India and the industry as a whole welcome the directive from the MIB to resume publication of data for individual news channels. The data will be published in accordance with the augmented data reporting standards for news and genres ‘special interest,’ BARC said in a statement.

The agency also said it is currently working to ensure the transparent dissemination of data from individual news channels and has communicated the same to its clients and stakeholders.

The increased standards involve the reporting of audience estimates for news and specialty genre channels on a 4-week rolling average, which would be published regularly each week along with the estimates for all other channels.

All audience data will be published on the same platform that all of our subscribers use.

BARC said that in the weeks leading up to the resumption of news channel rankings, the agency will reach out to its constituents to inform and educate them about the details of the increased data reporting standards.

“With the active support of technical committee members, all of our stakeholders and industry experts, we believe we have a statistically sound and effective solution that helps increase the robustness of data and reporting, which we planned to do. This would be another important step taken by BARC India to ensure a strong currency for advertisers and media organizations,” BARC said.

BARC had halted news genre rankings pending an investigation into allegations of rigging by some news channels.

The decision was taken following the alleged manipulation of audience data by a few broadcasters in collusion with the former top management of BARC. The review was expected to take 8-12 weeks and was intended to “improve” statistical robustness and “significantly hamper” potential attempts to infiltrate panel houses.

At that time, the News Broadcasters Association – now renamed the News Broadcasters and & Digital Association (NBDA) – advised BARC that rankings should continue to be suspended in light of revelations (alleged TRP manipulation scam) that show the arbitrary nature of operations at BARC.

About Florence M. Sorensen

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