After having been accused of running on multiple feeds by India Today TV, Times Now has come out in the open describing their actions as a form of self-defence. “Times Now did a defensive manoeuvre. We have never been an advocate of multiple LCNs (logical channel numbers) and have not run our channel that way till last week,” Times Network management told exchange4media. Going further, the English news broadcaster pointed out that they were actually an aggrieved party and had raised the issue at various forums. The channel insisted that they were not running on “multiple LCNs anywhere” in the country now.
Shedding light on what transpired earlier, the management added, “It was only after a desperate and aggressive move was made by Republic TV on the ground that we upped the ante in self-defence. As part of NBA, and as a responsible brand, we endorse strict action against such destructive and diversionary tactics.” The network also termed the Broadcast Audience Research Council’s (BARC) ratings data including their own for week 19 (May 6-12, 2017) as “tainted” and “not dependable”. It is noteworthy to mention that BARC’s viewership data gave the number one spot among English news channels to Republic TV with 2117 impressions (000s) whereas Times Now came in second with 1148 impressions (000s).
Previously, India Today TV wrote to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) complaining about Times Now allegedly running on multiple LCNs. Following the release of Republic TV’s ratings by BARC despite objections from News Broadcasters Association (NBA), all the major English news channels decided to withdraw from the rating agency. “Given your indifference to the serious situation at hand, we are left with no option but to advice some of our aggrieved members to opt out of the BARC’s watermarking system with immediate effect until there is appropriate redressal of our grievance,” NBA Secretary General Annie Joseph wrote to BARC CEO Partho Dasgupta.