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It's opportunity for channels to earn their credibility

Its opportunity for channels to earn their credibility
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It's opportunity for channels to earn their credibility

Highlights

In the light of the recent developments, Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) Board has proposed that its Technical Committee (Tech Comm) review and augment the current standards of measuring and reporting the data of niche genres to improve their statistical robustness and to significantly hamper the potential attempts of infiltrating the panel homes

In the light of the recent developments, Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) Board has proposed that its Technical Committee (Tech Comm) review and augment the current standards of measuring and reporting the data of niche genres to improve their statistical robustness and to significantly hamper the potential attempts of infiltrating the panel homes.

It is necessary for the viewers to understand that this is not an unnecessary intervention by the BARC but the latter is forced to adopt some tough measures in the wake of the dirty competition prevailing in the channel world for Television Rating Point (TRP) ratings. Instead of self-regulation as often been pronounced by the media, some of the channels attempted to regulate the viewership in their favour as is known to all now. This is the media's self-destructive path. In the process of annihilating its rivals, the media has embarked upon the dangerous path of destroying its own credibility. The BARC Board's exercise now would cover all Hindi, Regional, English news and Business news channels with immediate effect. Therefore, starting with the 'News Genre', BARC will cease publishing the weekly individual ratings for news channels during the exercise. This exercise is expected to take around 8-12 weeks, including validation and testing under the supervision of BARC's Tech Comm.

The BARC will continue to release weekly audience estimates for the genre of news by state and language. The decision will initially impact all Hindi, Regional, English news and Business news broadcasters. BARC will continue to provide estimates for the overall news genre every week by State and Language. The BARC Tech Committee will revisit the rule sets of niche genres to improve their statistical robustness and to significantly hamper the potential attempts of infiltrating the panel homes. Starting with the news genre, BARC would stop declaring the individual channel ratings for news channels while this reworking of the rule sets is being done. This exercise would take around 8-12 weeks, including validation and testing under the supervision of the Tech Committee. BARC will keep its stakeholders updated as it augments these processes.

The withholding of ratings will, inter-alia, will lead to non– availability of the following viewership variables for impacted channels: • Impressions, Daily reach, Average Time Spent (ATS), Cumulative reach, Rating percentage. Since these variables will not be available, analysis such as viewer movement and Behavioural Track Analysis will not be possible. Are there any lessons in this exercise for the media Channels? Yes. But a more pertinent question is, are they willing to learn any? All those channels resorting to illegality in fixing their viewership like a corrupt player in cricket resorting to match-fixing have committed a crime. Action must be taken against those channels.

The channels cannot blame either the police or the governments for the police cases against them. People have lost faith in the Legislatures and the Executive to some extent. It is only the judiciary and the Fourth Estate that command some respect in this country. Nobody should be allowed to destroy the credibility of these two pillars of our democracy anymore. There should be a limit to self-destructive tendency - of the media too. Let the ratings (of any channel) not be dependent on the 'berating' (of its rivals) of these channels. All the best to the BARC Board.

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