The News Broadcasters and Digital Association has flagged "glitches" and "irregularities" in viewership ratings released by the Broadcast Audience Research Council, .
This was raised during a presentation made by the NBDA to BARC last week. The presentation mentioned "concerns about the sanctity of data that revealed a sudden spike in ratings for two channels, TV9 Bharatvarsh and Republic Bharat". It said the growth was "unnaturally high" and both channels "raised rank suddenly".
Economic Times said there was an "increase of 10.7 million in the rolling average reach of Republic Bharat" in week 11 as compared to week 10, for instance, implying a "growth of more than 40 million over the last 4 weeks".
BARC had suspended ratings data for individual news channels in October 2020 following a that allegedly involved top executives from Republic TV. The Mumbai police had alleged that few media houses bribed homeowners to “rig” their TV ratings. At the time, BARC said it planned to “review and augment the current standards”.
Seventeen months later, on February 7 this year, BARC said it would resume issuing the data on March 17. , the council said: "We believe we have a statistically sound and effective solution which helps augment the robustness of the data and reporting, which we had set out to do."
The resumption of ratings also revived an old rivalry between the NBDA, headed by Rajat Sharma, and the News Broadcasters Federation, headed by Arnab Goswami. .