Arnab Goswami’s Republic Media Networks has written to Ministry of Information & Broadcasting (MIB), Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) and BARC India indicating some wrongdoing by India TV in order to gain higher television viewership numbers.
The media network that recently launched Hindi news channel Republic Bharat pointed out in its letter that India TV’s average time spent was way too higher than that of Hindi news genre in certain markets from past 16 weeks.
Calling it out as critical anomalies, the network wrote in its letter, a copy of which was accessed by BestMediaInfo.com, “The deviations in the data for some of the key markets is very abnormal when viewed with reference to other channels or the overall Hindi news genre, on a consistent basis.”
Republic enumerated the BARC reported ATS data for three major HSM markets — Delhi, UP/Uttarakhand 10-75L and Punjab/Chandigarh Urban — showing the ATS for India TV is consistently and abnormally higher in comparison to the prevalent trend in the Hindi news category or the other channels in the genre.
The network said that India TV consistently recorded ATS of over 26 minutes in Delhi market, a spike of 30% over 20 minutes of ATS on the Hindi news genre. In UP (10 to 75 Lakh markets), while the ATS on the Hindi news genre was 20 minutes, the ATS for India TV was over 32 minutes, a spike of 60%. The network found suspiciously high ATS on India TV in these two markets between Week 1 to 10 of 2019.
In the third market Punjab/Chandigarh Urban, the ATS of India TV was over 24 minutes, a spike of 50% over the ATS of 16 minutes for Hindi news genre.
Requesting the authorities to take an action on its complaint on urgent basis, Republic’s parent company ARG Outlier Media Asianet News said, “As these three markets contribute to almost 16% of Hindi news viewing, there is a clear case to urgently investigate the matter to ensure the integrity of the weekly reports.”