Mumbai: NBF and its stakeholders including Republic in their letter to BARC have reiterated their grievances of BARC ignoring their complaints. Medianews4u has in its possession the letter.
The recent pecking order in the Hindi News genre has triggered off a debate on is BARC transparent? Several Broadcasters have also drawn the attention of BARC to every week’s rating are not in correlation to the basics of television. These are corrupt practices that are being done with complete connivance between BARC and the broadcaster.
The letter clearly states, “Some of our member companies, FTA news channels, solely rely on BARC for the ratings as the only currency to convert into advertising – the predominant source of revenue for our channels. Several of our channels have raised concerns over the past few weeks on the drop in ratings.”
The letter then goes on to say, ‘The malicious manipulation of BARC meters is on record, there is scathing evidence to indicate manipulation and tampering of BARC meters by the TV9 Group. We have on multiple occasions right from 10th June 2020 informed BARC about deceitful and malicious practices by the TV9 Group to tamper with BARC meters’.
NBF has in its possession various tapes to prove the malpractices by the said channel. ‘The six shocking videos show how homes with BAR-O-meters were identified in a categorical manner, and payments were allegedly made by TV9 to ensure the channel is turned on for a fixed minimum period on a daily basis. The tapes indicate a well-oiled system was put in place to artificially increase Average Time Spent data.
As per BARC if there is manipulation the said homes are quarantined but in this case that has not happened and this inaction on the allegations against the TV9 Group and TV9 Bharatvarsh, raises questions on whether the organization is acting prejudicially. In the past, allegations of tampering with BARC meters has led to the suspension of ratings of channels. BARC had in 2016, suspended the ratings of TV9’s Telugu news channel, V6 News and India News on similar charges, the non-application of this precedent in the current case raises massive questions of biases’.
The letter also questions the integrity & Impartiality of BARC, the videos raise questions on the entire exercise and mechanism on which BARC is operating and determining ratings. The lack of confidentiality of metered homes indicates there are gaping holes in what should be an impartial process of rating determination by BARC. The fulcrum of operation of BARC is to provide reliable data, however, should TV9 go uninvestigated the integrity of the entire system stands tainted.
NBF has also demanded that the Management of the TV9 group should be investigated, as the group is centrally controlled with a common board of Directors. Therefore, evidence of manipulation by one of the network channels comes with an implicit allegation of corrupt practice by the remaining TV9 network entities.
Commenting on the issue, BARC India Spokesperson said, “ BARC India is a not-for-profit industry body and concerns raised are duly deliberated amongst its constituents.
BARC diligently reports what India watches on Television and each week’s data is released only after a comprehensive statistical and security data validation.”
Those doubting us should do their homework. They should look at their logger and study our content vis-a-vis viewership numbers.
The growth of TV9 Bharatvarsh has come with with synchronised efforts across an agenda setting content strategy, world class new look, focussed distribution and innovative marketing.
In a response to Medianews4u’s query, TV9 Spokesperson Said “Those doubting us should do their homework. They should look at their logger and study our content vis-a-vis viewership numbers. The growth of TV9 Bharatvarsh has come with synchronised efforts across an agenda-setting content strategy, world-class new look, focussed distribution and innovative marketing.
Television news industry is replete with examples of channels that made a mark riding on a crisis/calamity. Think AajTak and Bhuj earthquake, ABP and Mumbai floods, Times Now and 26/11 etc. We were the only channel which relaunched pre-covid with new look, new programming, aggressive marketing on regional local channels and digital platforms (our strategy has now being followed by competition just like they are trying to replicate our content formulations) and better distribution (for instance our position on DD free dish changed because somebody vacated their position and you can trace back our growth to the day this change happened on DD free dish).
Even we would have felt threatened or bad if we were a 15 or 20 year old news channel and a new player had overtaken us. But complacence and scepticism are not the solution. The sceptics only need to study the basics to understand the growth we are delivering.”