The ongoing tussle between Broadcast Audience Research Council of India (BARC) and English news channels reportedly came to an end on Friday midnight. Highly placed industry sources confirmed that all English news channels have resumed the watermarking from 12 am Friday night.
On last Thursday, all English news channels barring Republic TV had pulled out of BARC and had also removed the watermarking from their feeds as a protest against the release of viewership data by the authority.
“Our differences were not with BARC, it’s an industry body that we respect. We were only interested in protecting our business, which we felt could have been affected by malpractices of a particular channel leading to spikes in ratings,” said one of the broadcasters.
The issue had boiled up last week when after repeated notices from the NBA, BARC went ahead and released the data. The NBA wanted BARC to hold the viewership ratings of the newly launched Republic TV claiming that the channel is running on multiple feeds.
In a letter to Partho Dasgupta, CEO, BARC India, NBA wrote, “Given your indifference to the serious situation at hand, we are left with no option but to advise some of our aggrieved members to opt out of BARC's watermarking system with immediate effect until there is appropriate redressal of our grievance.”