New Delhi, January 18
The News Broadcasters Association on Monday demanded that Republic TV’s membership of Indian Broadcasters’ Foundation should be suspended and it should be excluded from the ratings system till the court proceedings in the TRP case were pending. In a statement, the NBA, a representative body of Indian news broadcasters, said it was shocked to see hundreds of WhatsApp messages exchanged between the Broadcast Audience Research Council’s former CEO Partho Dasgupta and Republic TV editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami.
“These messages clearly establish collusion between the two in manipulating ratings to garner greater viewership numbers for the Republic TV month after month by fraudulently manually reducing the ratings of other channels to give Republic TV an unfair advantage. These WhatsApp messages not only reflect manipulation of ratings but are also about power play,” the NBA said.
It said the messages exchanged referred to the appointment of secretaries, Cabinet reshuffle, access to the PMO and the workings of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
“This only confirms the many and continuous allegations made by the NBA in the last four years that the ratings were being manipulated by a non-NBA member broadcaster (Republic TV) in connivance with BARC’s top management officials. The NBA demands that IBF membership of Republic TV should be suspended with immediate effect till the case related to the manipulation of ratings is pending in the court,” the NBA said. — TNS
No checks and balances
- The NBA claimed BARC ratings were unreliable. “It appears there are no checks and balances,” it said, demanding that BARC must make a statement about the veracity of its ratings
- The NBA is headed by broadcaster Rajat Sharma, who finds unsavoury references in the leaked Arnab-Dasgupta chats