Daggers drawn. NBF opposes BARC move. Says it wasn’t consulted on ratings pause

15 Oct,2020

By A Correspondent

 

The News Broadcasters Federation (NBF), the ‘other’ industry association of news television channels, has strongly objected to BARC’s statement to pause audience estimates (ratings) of news channels. The NBF statement assumes significance given that it is led by Republic Media Networks MD and Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami.

In a statement issued to the media on Thursday, the NBF has said:

 

1.BARC did not consult the News Broadcasters Federation, before such a crucial decision, which impacts news broadcasting industry, the single-largest genre within television sector. BARC would not have taken any such crucial decision if it had involved any genre, without consulting GECs member channels.

2. BARC meters do not single-out the news genre in its audience measurement system. If BARC sincerely wants to review and augment its system, it should pause ratings for all genres including General Entertainment Channels (GEC), Sports, Infotainment, Movies, Music, Kids, Youth and Lifestyle.

3. Information has come out recently about a channel which has been found guilty of TRP manipulation and has been fined by BARC Disciplinary Committee. NBF is shocked that a member of the same channel has been included on the board of BARC. It’s not just conflict of interest and no reasonable decision making process can happen with a person named in ratings manipulations. What has happened itself is shocking. Now the matter is in public domain, this individual on the Board of BARC should voluntarily remove the said executive from the Board of Directors for a period of at least one year.

Said R Jai Krishna, General-Secretary, and News Broadcasters Federation: “The decision is unilateral, one-sided and undemocratic, impacting and targeting one single genre within the broadcasting ecosystem. The decision will severely impact news broadcasters, who have seen a surge in ratings despite the challenges of a lower-than-expected economic growth that has impacted their revenues already, in addition to the financial impact created by the lockdown to prevent spread of Covid-19.”

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