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WhatsApp chats prove Goswami-Dasgupta collusion to manipulate ratings, NBA says | India News

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NEW DELHI: Expressing “shock” at the “hundreds of WhatsApp messages that clearly establish collusion and power play” between Republic TV’s Arnab Goswami and former BARC CEO Partho Dasgupta in “manipulating audience ratings to give Republic TV an unfair advantage “and causes” Large financial losses “for other news channels, the National Association of Broadcasters demanded on Monday that BARC” erase the data of the wrong station and reaffirm the real position of the ratings of all news channels from the beginning ”.
“The messages exchanged continue to refer to the appointment of secretaries, the reorganization of the Cabinet, access to the PMO and the operation of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. This only confirms the many and ongoing allegations made by the NBA in the last four years that the ratings were manipulated by a non-NBA station in collusion with senior BARC management officials, ”said the association.
The NBA also demanded that Republic TV’s membership in the Broadcasting Association of India “be suspended with immediate effect” while the ratings manipulation case is pending in court.
“The NBA board is also of the opinion that Republic TV’s manipulation of ratings has immensely damaged the reputation of the broadcast industry and should therefore be kept out of the BARC rating system until the final court order.” , said.
The association said that the collusion between Goswami and Dasgupta had led to Republic TV’s viewership numbers increasing while “fraudulently manually lowering the ratings of other channels.”
“The NBA board also wants to put on record that the corrupt data released month after month has not only led to loss of reputation, but has also caused huge financial losses to news broadcasters for which BARC has a duty to give an explanation, “said the association.
“The NBA has already communicated to BARC that the ratings are not reliable as far as we can see and should continue to be suspended in light of recent revelations showing the arbitrary nature of the operation at BARC. It shows there are no checks and balances, and the ability of a select few within BARC to easily change ratings as they see fit, making the system subjective to management’s whims and fancies rather than being an objective transparent system. The Oversight Committee without representation of announcers and only consultants paid by BARC is an eye wash to show autonomy. The NBA is strongly demanding that BARC take action against these dubious actors. Legal and police action should also be taken against those responsible for ruining BARC’s credibility and threatening to damage the credibility of the news broadcasting business, ”the association added.
“Indeed, it is with dismay that the NBA notes the fact that, despite having a convicting verdict in its possession since July 2020, BARC sat on the forensic report for several months, bringing these manipulations to light. . This is a clear example of the systemic lack of transparency that has prevailed since BARC’s inception. BARC not only did not share the data with the NBA for confidentiality reasons, but no action was taken against the broadcaster that made the mistake, no sanction was initiated, and no Discom proceedings were initiated. In fact, even after the new administration took over, large-scale manipulation has continued, ”the association said.
The NBA demanded that BARC make a “clear statement on the veracity of its ratings” in the period under audit and conduct an audit of the Hindi news genre. It should also “explain the concrete steps that have been taken in the last three months to secure the ratings,” he said, adding that “the ratings of news channels remain suspended until all details of such actions taken by BARC are shared. with stakeholders ”.
BARC must “explain what criminal actions are provided for in BARC’s constitution against broadcasters that have indulged in the manipulation of audience ratings of this magnitude and what action will be taken in the current case,” NBA said.

Times of India

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