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BARC penalises three news channels for tampering with rating meters

Shantanu

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India's TV audience measurement service, BARC (Broadcast Audience Research Council of India) has decided to penalise three TV news channels for allegedly tampering with ratings. BARC will not publish ratings for Hindi news channel
India News and Telugu channels - TV9 Telugu and V6 News for four weeks.

"The ratings for India News, TV9 Telugu and V6 News shall not be published from week 46, 2016 to week 49, 2016 due to suspected malafide practices," an email sent by BARC to its subscribers on Thursday, said.

ET has learnt that BARC decided to take action against these three channels after they were found to be tampering with the BARC rating meters placed in households which had allegedly led to a surge in their ratings. For the past many weeks all the three channels had consistently figured in the top 5 most viewed news channels in the Hindi and Telugu categories.
BARC officials however said they did not want to comment on the issue.

According to officials in the know of the matter, an investigation team at BARC had studied "unusual behaviour patterns" in the data obtained from certain sections of the country with regard to the three channels, a few weeks ago.

"Some people who had never watched the channels were watching it for several hours everyday all of a sudden. After that we did more analysis of the samples before arriving on this decision. We have decided to penalise these channels because this was going on for several months," an official said.
Varun Kohli, CEO, India News however said they were shocked to hear about the decision taken by BARC. "We are trying to talk to all stakeholders, including BARC to resolve the matter and address any misgivings. We are confident that the matter will be sorted out soon."

"We are a credible network in the broadcasting business for the last eight years and we have shown consistent growth for the last five years in TAM & BARC ratings. We believe in the transparency of the system and intend getting into the bottom of the matter and exploring all the options available to us," he told ET.

V6 News TV and TV9 Telugu are Telugu 24-hour news channels based in Hyderabad in Telangana. Sources in the industry said ratings by BARC were important to get advertisements.

Proprietors of other TV channels that ET spoke with said they had complained to BARC about the tampering of meters by some channels.

"The numbers were increasing because some channels were using dual frequency without permission. This was mostly done to get ads under the new DAVP policy. Many good reporters and producers were losing jobs in TV channels with good viewership because of these wrong methods adopted by others. We are glad that BARC has finally taken action," a senior official in a Hindi news channel said.

According to BARC officials, some channels have also been found using more than frequency to broadcast the same content. "Some channels own a frequency for HD but have no capabilities to transmit HD content. It is usually the same content as the usual channel," a source said.
BARC measures viewership habits of India's 153.5 million TV households - 77.5 million in urban India and 76 million are in rural India - with over 22,000 homes seeded with BAR-O-Meters.

BARC penalises three news channels for tampering with rating meters - The Economic Times
 

Shantanu

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India News reacts to its non-inclusion in BARC 46 week ratings

BARC(Broadcast Audience Research Council) Week 46 ratings for the Hindi News Channels that were out yesterday did not include India News, though BARC Officials did not comment on the same when exchange4media reached out to them.
The reasons for the non-inclusion of India News data in the ratings was said to be for ‘suspected malafide practices’ according to communication sent to BARC subscribers sourced by exchange4media.
“We are shocked to hear this and are trying to talk to all the stakeholders including BARC to resolve the matter and address any misgivings. We are confident that the matter will be sorted out soon. We are a credible Network in the Broadcasting business for the last 8 years and we have shown consistent growth for the last 5 years in TAM & BARC ratings. We believe in the transparency of the system and intend getting into the bottom of the matter and exploring all the options available to us.” Said Varun Kohli, CEO, India News, reacting to this development.
It maybe recalled that BARC had sent Raj Television Network a show-cause notice in March earlier this year for allegedly trying to bloat its viewership numbers. Just last month BARC filed a police complaint in Kerala against tampering panel homes by a couple of channels in the state.
India News reacts to its non-inclusion in BARC 46 week ratings
 
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