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BARC to resume rating news channels soon

The I&B Ministry has also asked the ratings agency to release data for the genre for the past three months.

The ministry of information and broadcasting on Wednesday asked the Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) to resume the ratings for the news channels immediately, after the organisation revised its procedures and protocols. The ratings were suspended after the Mumbai police busted a racket involving a private channel’s efforts to tamper the ratings.

The ministry has asked BARC to release data for the genre for the past three months, in a monthly format and henceforth, the rating will be carried out on a four-week rolling average concept.

BARC has initiated the reconstitution of the Board and the Technical Committee to allow for the induction of Independent Members. A permanent Oversight Committee has been formed and the access protocols for data have been revamped and tightened.

The Ministry has also set up a ‘Working Group’ under the chairmanship of the CEO, Prasar Bharti Shashi Shekhar Vempati for the consideration of leveraging the Return Path Data (RPD) capabilities for the use of TRP services, as also recommended by TRAI and the TRP Committee report. The Committee shall submit its report in four months.

The viewership data was suspended in October 2020 following allegations that ratings were rigged by a clutch of TV channels. BARC had said it was pausing the publication of weekly data for eight to 12 weeks to review and augment the standards of measurement and reporting data. It is 15 months since then.