After pulling up Raj TV in March, this is the second instance where BARC India has taken such action
BestMediaInfo Bureau | Mumbai | October 21, 2016
The Broadcast Audience Research Council, India (BARC India) and Kerala TV Federation (KTF) together have filed a police complaint with the Director General of Kerala police over alleged attempts to tamper with its measurement system to favour a few channels. The case was filed after BARC India’s vigilance team received constant complaints regarding attempts to retrieve addresses of BARC India ‘panel homes’ and influencing them. KTF is a trade body representing Malayalam channels in Kerala.
Panel homes are those selected homes in the country where BARC India has installed their Barometers to observe and calculate television viewership.
The complaint was filed on the basis of conclusive evidence gathered by the vigilance team of BARC India. The evidence of more than one effort to tamper with BARC India’s television viewership measurement system in favour of a couple of channels was detected by the vigilance team. Preliminary scrutiny by the on-ground vigilance team confirmed that attempts had been made by some individuals to not only find out addresses of BARC India panel homes, but also to incentivise them and influence their viewership.
This is not the first time that BARC India has taken on the TV channels for such an attempt. Earlier in March 2016, Raj TV was pulled up by the ratings measurement agency and issued a show-cause notice for allegedly bribing the panel homes.
“TV industry trades on the currency released by BARC India and we understand how important every rating point is to the broadcaster. We have evidence of a couple of broadcasters trying to tamper with our panel homes to improve ratings. We have taken steps to quarantine the affected panel homes. While we have filed a complaint this time, we want the industry to be aware that going forward BARC India will stop publishing ratings for those channels found involved in such activities,” said Partho Dasgupta, CEO, BARC India.
These acts of the suspects are a cause of concern to BARC India and the broadcasting community in the Kerala market and are causing financial loss and loss of reputation. Kerala Police will investigate the matter.
As per its established standard operating procedure, BARC India has immediately quarantined the impacted panel homes from its TV viewership measurement system to ensure that efforts at infiltration don’t impact ratings of channels operating in the region.