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NDTV opts out of BARC ratings before it is set to resume again days after Param Bir Singh admitted TRP allegations against Arnab Goswami a hoax

During an interrogation in February 2022 by the ED, however, Pam Bir Singh had revealed in length how the allegations against Arnab Goswami were fake and that the 'TRP Scam' was a hoax.

Delhi-based news agency NDTV has decided to opt-out of the TRP rating list published by BARC (Broadcast Audience Research Council India), a statement released by the company on their website said. This came after the BARC was asked by the I&B Ministry to resume the release of viewership ratings, which were stopped after allegations of the fake TRP scam monitored by some leaders in the Maharashtra government.

In October 2020, the then Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh had accused Republic TV of ‘TRP manipulation’. It was alleged by the Mumbai Police that Republic TV head Arnab Goswami had illegally paid some households to keep some channels running at home to boost the TRP of Republic. While there was no mention of Republic TV in the FIR filed by Mumbai Police, BARC had made its mind to abort publishing TV audience ratings amidst ongoing controversy and allegations.

During an interrogation in February 2022 by the ED, however, Pam Bir Singh had revealed in length how the allegations against Arnab Goswami were fake and that the ‘TRP Scam’ was a hoax. While talking about how the ‘TRP Scam’ was staged to target Goswami, Param Bir Singh said, “Sachin Vaze was taking briefing and giving instruction in the TRP case directly from the ex-Home Minister (Anil Deshmukh)”. Param Bir Singh had revealed how Vaze and Deshmukh were carrying out a false investigation sanctioned by the powers of the state while the latter personally wanted Republic Media Network’s Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami to be arrested in the made-up TRP case. 

A month earlier, on January 12, 2022, the Central Information and Broadcasting Ministry had issued a statement asking BARC to resume the release of ratings with immediate effect. News Broadcasters Federation led by Arnab Goswami had also expressed displeasure over BARC’s lethargic action to release the viewership ratings. It is to be noted that the TRP ratings help to advertise agencies with the data of performance ratings of TV channels upon which they decide in which channels to invest.

The statement from NDTV has come at a time when BARC is about to release the previous TRP rating data of TV channels after a halt of 15 months. “NDTV is among the networks that have chosen to not be included in the ratings which are soon to be released for the last few months…consumers have been presented with fake news on the size and type of audience attracted by different channels; their money has been misallocated on the basis of this fake news.” the statement added.

It also looks like NDTV has backed out of the rating list fearing the abysmally low viewership it attracted during the year 2020. If the last weekly data (for September 19-25, 2020) released by BARC is considered, Republic TV’s viewership in the 9 PM primetime slot accounted for 77% of the total viewership among both Hindi and English language channels. NDTV, which calls itself a pioneer in English news journalism grabbed just 1.3% share in the viewership and could not even stand in the top 5 shows broadcast in the 9 PM slot.

NDTV’s fear-mongering and agenda-driven journalism could not stand the test of time while fearing which it has also taken a stand – not to stand at all in the viewership rating table.

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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