Home > News > We’re a data science-driven body that deals in facts & evidence, says BARC | India News

We’re a data science-driven body that deals in facts & evidence, says BARC | India News

We’re a data science-driven body that deals in facts & evidence, says BARC | India News 2

NEW DELHI: With Mumbai police launching an investigation into the alleged manipulation of TRPs by three private news channels, the Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC), the key rating agency for TV broadcast networks, said on Saturday that BARC ratings remained true to purpose and that the ratings agency is a “data science driven joint-industry body” that deals “only in facts and evidence”.
Even though the ratings agency acknowledged it is not “insulated from intrusion attempts”, BARC chief executive Sunil Lulla, in a statement to BARC subscribers said, “Despite over 44,000, and growing, metered households spread across the entire country, we recognise that BARC is not insulated from intrusion attempts by unscrupulous individuals through various forms of inducement. Hence, we have taken several steps to ensure that these attempts are quickly identified, and the homes are de-installed, removing their impact, if any, on audience estimates. We continue to strengthen our vigilance mechanism and also leverage data science rigorously ensuring the audience estimates robustly reflect actual viewership.”
He also said BARC India had authorised Meterology Data Pvt. Ltd. (MDL), its subsidiary which “functions at arm’s length”, to undertake panel home operations through its authorised vendors, one of who is Hansa Market Research Private Limited, the complainant in the FIR filed in Mumbai.
With growing concerns that manipulated TRPs not only affect channels’ valuation, but also impact advertising spends by governments and businesses, the ratings agency also sought to clarify that it was BARC’s vigilance team that reported that five BARC India panel homes, serviced by Hansa, were showing some abnormality. “As is the protocol, Hansa was advised to investigate further. The Hansa audit showed that the said employee was suspected to be involved in tampering and influencing the panel household members…Basis the information provided by Hansa, Mumbai police registered a FIR dated October 6…,” the BARC statement said.
The agency said the suspected homes have been removed from reporting and added that BARC has “strictly followed our established vigilance and disciplinary committee guidelines to deal with such isolated attempts”. “In spite of what may get reported or opined in the press, our governance continues to be robust and all of us at BARC continue to be driven by only one goal: to generate ratings that you rely on which are deeply rooted in science, free of any bias and truly reflect ‘What India Watches’.”

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