BARC data row: NBF seeks MIB's intervention

NBF says the blackout of data is causing heavy losses to organisations that may start affecting livelihoods of those employed with them

e4m by Naziya Alvi Rahman
Updated: Feb 13, 2021 1:44 PM
nbf

In its latest attempt to get the suspended BARC data for the news genre back on track, the News Broadcasters Federation (NBF), which largely comprises regional and some national channels, has reached out to MIB seeking its intervention for the immediate release of the audience measurement ratings of news genre by BARC.

In a letter addressed to MIB Minister Prakash Javedkar, the body has claimed that they are ready for any changes of BARC but the complete absence of ratings has truly destroyed the economy of news channels.

“We are stakeholders in BARC. Data measurement is the lifeline of our broadcast industry, in the past too there have been incidents of manipulation but shutting it down is not the solution. The improvements can only happen while the data flows continuously. It’s an ongoing process of improvement. We are humbly requesting you to urgently intervene,” reads the letter.

The NBF had earlier approached BARC with similar pleas but nothing much has been resolved so far. The letter has raised three demands:- 

  1. BARC starts to publish ratings for the news genre in pendency of the investigation so that livelihoods can be saved

  2. If weekly ratings is problematic to publish, an alternate system to publish ratings which can be brought out so that advertiser confidence in the news-genre is restored

  3. We are not forced to shut down operations despite having done no wrong

  4. News organisations do not face extinction due to corporate and conflicting interests.

The letter also pleads that the move is directly affecting the livelihood of thousands of employees working with these 50 odd news channels. “News channels employ hundreds of thousands of media professionals and their livelihood depends on the revenues generated by a news channel and is directly related to the audience measurement data (TRPs).  Therefore, NBF calls upon the stakeholders of BARC to initiate steps to resume the release of ratings of news channels with immediate effect. We believe the data is also critical for both ISA AND AAAI, the major stakeholders of the advertising fraternity,” reads the letter.

 

Prior to NBF reaching out to the agency, TV9 CEO Barun Das had also penned a similar letter to the minister seeking intervention.

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