BCCL fires fresh salvo against Republic. ET report raises doubts on timespent in BARC data

12 Jun,2017

By A Correspondent

Bennett, Coleman & Co Ltd, the owner of The Times of India, Economic Times, Times Now and a slew of topselling media brands, has fired a fresh salvo against former Times Now editor-in-chief and President News’s entrepreneurial venture, Republic TV.

The clip of the report on Page 8 of The Economic Times Mumbai dated June 12, 2017

Since the data for the first week of Republic TV’s launch, Times Now, which was the highest rated amongst English news channels, found itself ousted from the top spot by Goswami’s channel. Consequently, the channel along with a few others, prevailed upon the News Broadcasters Association to act on the usage of dual LCNs and advise that they remove the watermarking on their channels thereby opting out of the BARC measurement.

Other than NBA, many channels are also part of the Indian Broadcasting Federation (IBF). Interestingly, IBF in turn is 60 per cent owner of BARC India, which is a joint industry body.

The channels came back to the BARC fold after they felt assured when Republic TV is said to have told the Court that is not taking multiple LCNs. Interestingly, India Today TV also filed a complaint with TRAI about Times Now using the dual LCN route to boost ratings.

Last Thursday, BARC released date for Week 22 which marked the return of all English news channels to watermark-led measurement.

While there is a sentiment that even this data is boosted by channels employing landing pages, an Economic Times report has cautioned media buyers and advertisers that all isn’t well with BARC viewership data. It is evident from the report that the high timespent of Republic is a sore point and Times Now hasn’t gone up in terms of timespent.

There are questions that need to be addressed now:

01.Will BARC probe the charges in the ET report?

02.What does BARC think about the ET report? While ET is not indicting BARC in any direct way, the fact that the timespent data has been questioned, it impacts the reputation and credibility of the joint industry measurement body. What do BARC and owners IBF, ISA and AAAI have to say on this?

03.Is this a misuse of sibling media by Times Now? If it was such a grave issue, how come other business dailies haven’t taken it up?

 

It’s perhaps time for NBA and/or IBF to bring order in the house. It should bring together the four or five top English news channels and get them to stop throwing muck at each other and more importantly conduct their business in a fair manner.

 

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