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No change in release schedule; BARC ratings for news channels to resume on March 17

When asked if the government was pushing BARC to delay the release of TRP data, the I&B Secretary Apurva Chandra said, “Nothing from our side”

The Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC India) will go ahead with the scheduled release of TRP data for news genre on March 17.

Sources across stakeholders, including the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (I&B), categorically denied that BARC India or the Ministry are contemplating any deferment.

Apurva Chandra

When asked if the government was pushing BARC to delay the release of TRP data, the I&B Secretary Apurva Chandra said, “Nothing from our side.”

Quoting sources in the I&B Ministry, the Press Trust of India on Thursday published a news story saying that BARC is looking into the option of deferring the date for resuming TRP ratings as various news television channels have given different suggestions on the period during which it should be released. 

“After the speculative story on PTI, NDTV’s decision to pull out from BARC ratings led to unnecessary confusion in the industry. BARC India is going to resume news ratings on a 4-week rolling average basis with effect from Week 10, 2022, which is Thursday, March 17, 2022,” a senior industry executive said.

When asked, senior officials at the top national news channels said they are preparing their strategies keeping the scheduled date, March 17, for release of data in mind.

“Whether you like it or not, BARC is the only currency used by advertisers. How long can you run away from reality? There could be some fear among a few broadcasters but everyone seems to be ready to brave the numbers whatsoever the outcome is,” said a senior broadcast executive.

Could there be any other news broadcaster that may follow NDTV and pull out from BARC ratings? Responding to this, an industry veteran said that there are very slim chances of any other channel following NDTV’s footsteps.

After the release of four-week data from Week 6 to Week 9 on March 17, BARC India will release the past data on a four-week rolling average format from Week 1 to Week 5 of 2022 on March 21, while the data from Week 49 of 2021 to Week 52 of 2021 for the news genre is scheduled to be released on March 22.

The ratings body had provided the option to opt out from the historical 13-week data. India TV, ABP News and NDTV among others have exercised this option. The historical data for the remaining channels will be released as per the schedule.

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