BARC India and Kerala TV Federation (KTF) together have filed a police complaint with the Director General of Kerala police. The case was filed after BARC India’s vigilance team received constant complaints regarding attempts to retrieve addresses of BARC India panel homes and influencing them. KTF is a trade body representing Malayalam channels in Kerala.
The complaint was filed with BARC India vigilance team's gathered conclusive evidence of more than one effort to tamper with BARC India’s television viewership measurement system in favour of a couple of channels. Preliminary scrutiny by on-ground vigilance team has confirmed that attempts have been made by some individuals to not only find out addresses of BARC India panel homes, but also to incentivise them and influence their viewership.
These acts of the suspects are a cause of concern to BARC India and the Broadcasting community in the Kerala market and are causing financial loss and loss of reputation. Kerala Police will investigate the matter further.
BARC India has immediately quarantined the impacted panel homes from its TV viewership measurement system to ensure efforts at infiltration don’t impact ratings of channels operating in the region.
Partho Dasgupta, CEO BARC India, said, “TV industry trades on the currency released by BARC India and we understand how important every rating point is to the broadcaster. We have evidence of a couple of broadcasters trying to tamper with our panel homes to improve ratings. We have taken steps to quarantine the affected panel homes. While we have filed a complaint this time, we want the industry to be aware that going forward BARC India will stop publishing ratings for those channels found involved in such activities.”