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News broadcasters’ body says it stands vindicated, appreciates reforms undertaken by BARC India

Our Bureau | Updated on: Jan 13, 2022
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The I&B Ministry had asked BARC to resume release of viewership data of news channels with immediate effect

The News Broadcasters and Digital Association (NBDA) on Thursday said that while it recognises the number of reforms undertaken at the Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC India), there is still room to make systems more transparent, robust and reliable.

“ BARC should also evaluate ways to enhance data security and ensure that there is no manual intervention at any step in the ratings process. We hope before any ratings are released, these measures are in place. We will continue to work with all stakeholders on refining the Outlier Policy to eliminate statistical anomalies and increasing the sample size to strengthen the credibility of data,” it said in a statement.

Ministry directive

The I&B Ministry on Wednesday asked BARC to resume release of viewership data of news channels with immediate effect and also release the last three months data of news channels genre in a monthly format. It added that viewership data of news and niche genres will be done on a ‘four week rolling average concept.’

NBDA said it “ stands vindicated” with the I&B Ministry recognising the need for improvement, acknowledging the deficiencies and the need to urgently increase sample size and systemic corrections.

“NBDA also appreciates the reforms that are being undertaken to make the processes, protocols and oversight mechanism at BARC India more robust…….The reconstitution of the BARC Board and the Technical Committee to allow for the induction of independent members, along with the setting up of a permanent oversight committee, are all steps in the right direction,” it added.

The Ministry has decided to set up a Joint Working Group to study the potential for leveraging Return Path Data (RPD) from set to boxes. NBDA said it will work closely with the committee and hopes that this will ensure that the data collected for viewership measurement is more authentic and real time.

Published on January 13, 2022

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