New Delhi: New Delhi: The Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting on Wednesday directed Broadcasters Audience and Research Council (BARC) to release television news ratings with immediate effect. The move comes a year after the central government suspended television news ratings over the alleged TRP scam controversy in October 2020. After the Mumbai Police exposed the TRP scam in October 2020, the NBDA asked BARC India to overhaul its system before releasing TV news ratings.
Earlier, the Broadcasters Audience and Research Council had told the Center that it has taken several steps to further strengthen the television procedures, protocols and monitoring mechanism in India. The ministry has directed BARC to release news ratings as well as data for the last three months monthly.
According to the revised methodology, reporting of news and other formats will be done on a rolling average of four weeks, the Union Information and Broadcasting Ministry said in a statement. Simultaneously, the ministry has also constituted a working group under the chairmanship of Prasar Bharati CEO to consider leveraging ‘Return Path Data’ (RPD) capabilities for utilization of TRP services.
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The formation of this group was also recommended by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India and the TRP Committee in its report. Apart from Prasar Bharati CEO SS Vempati, there will be five other members in this joint working committee. The group will lay down common protocols, data standards and amendments to the existing rating methodology to integrate the data of RPD enabled STBS into the existing TV rating system.
The TRP Committee report and TRAI recommendation dated 24th April, 2020 include that Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) has revised its procedure, protocol, monitoring mechanism and also introduced changes in governance structure.
Reacting to the matter, Rajat Sharma, Editor-in-Chief of India TV and President of News Broadcasters and Digital Association (NBDA), said, “The Ministry has taken cognizance of the lapses and discussed the scope for improvement, including setting a time frame for issuing ratings.” Justified the stand of NBDA by stamping it.