Flagging an alleged attempt to suspend TV ratings by some vested interest fearing a significant drop in viewership, the News Broadcasters Federation (NBF) has written to Minister of Information and Broadcasting Prakash Javadekar, urging him to ensure the smooth functioning of television ratings during this crucial period.
NBF President Arnab Goswami on the behalf of news broadcasters wrote, “It has come to our notice that there are attempts by some vested interest to put pressure via the ministry to stop the publication of ratings measured by BARC. I am informed that some of these vested interests, who are trying to stop ratings in this period, are doing so to protect their commercial interests, and falsely claiming to represent the news broadcasting industry of India, which unlike them is doing real-time public service broadcasting in this period.”
Goswami told the minister how the efforts of the news channels have been appreciated by one and all, including the Prime Minister, in his recent video conference with owners and editors of some news channels.
“In order to continue the effort, which in this period involves the creation of informative and relevant news content while covering the entire country at a time when communication and transport is not easy, our hundreds of thousands of professionals are working round the clock, and taking this battle on the front lines to ensure that Covid-19 is defeated,” he said.
“If news channels also face a situation when ratings are stopped, we will be destroyed and our organisations will be at peril,” Goswami added. “Mr Minister, while individual channels or bodies may claim to speak for us, let me assure you that they are only defending their short-term interests at a time when they can shut down their programming while news channels work round the clock in this national effort against Covid-19.”
Stating that all the news broadcasters are completely and totally dependent on the publication of TV ratings to run their businesses, Goswami sought the minister’s intervention to not allow this 'sinister' move to stop the publication of TV ratings, which is being done by vested interests alone. “This, if implemented, will destroy the news broadcasting industry of India, which is doing an incredible job at this important time,” he said.