In a big victory for the News Broadcasters Federation (NBF), the central government on Wednesday instructed the Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) to immediately release monthly TRP ratings for the news genre, including the last three months' ratings. Reacting to the development, Republic Media Network Editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami welcomed the instruction, calling it a 'big win' for the NBF and the people of the country.
"We know which way this will go, and the people of the country know. People of the country know that there was a conspiracy against Republic TV which Lutyens channels participated in. Because they couldn't stop Republic TV, they thought they will put pressure to stop rating altogether. We know what the reality is once the ratings come. We are really excited and looking forward to the release of ratings. The largest body of the NBF, a group of 70 channels, stood together and fought hard. Other industry bodies made it their life's singular purpose to block the release of ratings."
"The fact is that NBF has emerged as the strongest, largest, and most vocal body of broadcasters in this country. Every member of NBF deserves to be complimented for hanging in there. I took an entire delegation to meet the I&B Minister where we made several petitions, which is the way to operate. Lutyens channels want to operate in shadows and stealthily. I, therefore, look forward to the release of ratings," he said.
Arnab Goswami also stressed on the need for BARC to be transparent and refrain from leaning in favor of old legacy players. "BARC should realize it can't be leaning on the side of one group of broadcasters who seem to represent the old legacy players. The manner in which it functioned is against corporate government practices There must be scrutiny by people on the way BARC operates. We do the news, we do it well and we are really happy and I know who is probably trembling in their boots," he said.
"I wouldn't mind if they gave the entire data for the last 1 year and 4 months, since when ratings were put on hold, but three months are also okay and we look forward to ratings in the future. We live for how many people watch us. We are not like Lutyens hypocrites. For me and Republic, the only source of income is advertising, and it's our daily bread and we are proud of it. We at Republic are happy about it. For now, it's a great start," he added.
According to an official release, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has asked for the immediate release of ratings for the news genre in a monthly format including ratings for the last three months. The monthly ratings will now be based on a 4-week rolling average concept.
The official release of the I&B Ministry states, "the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, has asked BARC to release the News ratings with immediate effect and also to release the last three months data, for the genre in a monthly format, for fair and equitable representation of true trends. As per the revised system, the reporting of News and Niche Genres shall be on a ‘four week rolling average concept’."