Zee Media has quit from Broadcast Audience Research Council of India (BARC) ratings.
In an official statement Zee Media alleged that in the last few months the news genre is being shown shrunk by the BARC to extend the benefit to GEC and other genres at large.
The company further alleged that, Zee Media had raised its concern multiple times to BARC and had questioned the whole structure and their operation transparency towards the news industry which represents media and is usually termed as the fourth pillar of democracy. It is pertinent to point out here that the rating agency has failed to rectify News industry’s and Zee Media’s concerns.
The official statement read, “Zee Media stated that the decision is a milestone for the whole news media industry, where there are more than 5-8 million people associated with news and broadcasting industry at large who get impacted adversely if incorrect reporting is published by the Rating agencies.”
The statement also alleged that BARC has not given any white paper on TRP Scam until now and it’s a matter of great concern that who all were involved in this malpractice and if they are still part of the system (people/channels) and what action has been taken against them.
“Biggest concern and challenge is that BARC has not given any solution nor accepted as they are continuing reporting for Landing Pages and barker pages which impact ratings favourably for those who use these at the peril of others who do not subscribe to these unethical practices,” read the statement.
It continued, “Secondly, the news genre is continuously shown shrinking since BARC Data was restarted, while when the data was stopped, Genre was at its Peak. In spite of multiple meetings and conversation with BARC, the Agency not only failed but has not been able to explain such a steep fall, a drastic change in viewership is hurting News genre’s Revenue/perception to the advertising fraternity. This is the biggest fall in the last 25-30 years of the industry which is unprecedented and far from reality.”
Zee Media stated that they have repeatedly pointed out that a far larger sample (of meters) is needed if BARC is serious about ensuring a measurement process that cannot be rigged or manipulated, which the rating agency failed to address until now.
“Digitally Zee News is no.1 in ComScore as well as in You Tube which is the real data and cannot be manipulated. However, BARC ratings show the completely opposite and different picture, while the same content is placed on both platforms and again points out inconsistencies of reporting methodology. BARC’s new process of data reporting (4weeks rolling average vis .a.vis earlier daily/weekly) is also a big concern and due to this the research has no meaning or outcome to the content producers and they cannot plan or validate content performance,” the statement read.
Zee Media further said that the BARC is unable to answer or address any of their queries/questions/suggestions.
“As an industry body, we believe that due to the monopoly of rating agencies the industry is suffering at large Hence Zee Media decided to move from rating agency and we have asked them to stop reporting Zee Media’s all 14 channels with immediate effect,” the statement added.
Will this bold step taken by Zee Media trigger a storm in the world of Television News Media or its just a face saver attempt by Zee Media to escape the impact of I&B Ministry’s order revoking the permission granted to for uplinking the channel in Ku band…?
Keep watching this space as MediaNews4U is working on a follow-up story with insights from Industry insiders.