News Broadcasters Federation (NBF) has appealed to the Information and Broadcasting Ministry seeking its intervention to ensure the immediate release of audience measurement ratings for TV news genre.
In its letter to MIB’s Secretary Amit Khare, News Broadcasters Body NBF has stated “We request your urgent intervention to order the immediate release of audience measurement ratings for TV news genre by the Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC), a crucial data which has been withheld for over three months now, and has impacted the livelihood of thousands of media personnel, including journalists.
In this context, we draw your attention that BARC had suspended release ratings unilaterally and singling out TV news channels, in October, citing alleged manipulations and had sought 8- 12 weeks-time to reset the anomalies.
Despite, the expiry of 12 weeks, BARC has not yet released the audience measurement ratings, a critical data which news channels, especially the FTA (Free-to-air) channels, depend on to gain advertising. BARC also not provided any future roadmap on the audience measurement data.
As you are aware, news channels constitute the single largest genre of TV channels in the country’s 900 channels universe. The withholding of audience measurement has impacted the revenue of these channels, especially during the festive season between October and December apart from negatively impacting the credibility of the news genre.
We estimate a revenue loss of at least Rs 2000 crore during the period for the channels, and another at least Rs 500 crore in GST revenue for the exchequer due to the pause in release of audience measurement estimates.
Hence, we request your urgent intervention to order the immediate release of audience measurement ratings for TV news genre by the Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC), a move that would save the news genre from the brink of extinction.”