TRAI issues show cause notice to BARC for not releasing TV viewership data, BARC responds

BARC India asserts yet again that it sends data to subscribers every week and has decided not to put it up on its website due to volatility in data

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The Telecom Regulatory Authority Of India had sent a show cause notice to BARC India for not adhering to its direction to release viewership data on its website, as per a PTI report. The authority asked BARC India to explain the reason behind this till April 5. Now BARC has reacted to the same saying that there is significant volatility in data in the NTO transition period due to distribution disruptions. 

In a statement by BARC India spokesperson, it is mentioned why the authority is refraining from publishing the viewership data on the website. "BARC India is a joint industry body, and operates under self-regulation model, in compliance with Ministry of I&B Guidelines. In the NTO transition period, due to distribution disruptions (which have been well documented in media reports), there is significant volatility in data. Due to this, and the fact that data in this period does not truly reflect viewers’ choice, BARC India Technical Committee and Board took a decision to temporarily suspend placing the limited set of data our website."

BARC India feels that putting such putting up such misleading data on the website would be against public interest and could be misused by vested interests. "BARC is constantly monitoring the ground situation on this. We have made detailed submissions to TRAI and MIB, backed by data, on several occasions. Also, we would like to re-iterate that there has been no stoppage of data to our subscribers. Every week, our clients have been receiving weekly data without any disruption.” 

Earlier too, TRAI has asked BARC India to release the data with immediate effect. BARC India spokesperson had then told exchange4media, “TRAI has advised us that we should also consider resuming the display of top channels and programs data on our website. We are taking a considered view on that post consultation with our stakeholders.”  

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