Within a week of its inception, Republic TV has gone to town saying it's the most watched English News Channel based on the Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) rating, forcing rivals to pull out of the rating agency.
According to a report by the Mint, Arnab Goswami’s Republic TV became the most-watched news channel in the country in its launch week ending the week to may 12 with 2.11 million impressions, 84.4% higher than that of Goswami’s former employer Times Now.
The report by the BARC has agitated other news channels who have demanded an inquiry.
The News Broadcasters Association had raised suspicions on Goswami's extraordinary success, saying that Republic TV had been registered by various cable distribution platforms multiple times under different genres, in violation of TRAI interconnection regulations, alleging the channel of 'distribution malpractices' says the Mint report.
Following the TRAI regulations, every channel is required to register itself under a particular genre, for example sports, entertainment, movies etc. According to the NBA, Republic registered itself under more than one genre, making the channel appear more than once in their electronic programme guide (EPG),
The association had asked BARC to suspend the release of viewership ratings of Republic until the channel stopped doing this.
Following the refusal of BARC to comply, all leading English media channels barring Republic have pulled out of the council, reported the Times Now.
NDTV, another prominent channel in the electronic media has issued a statement explaining their decision to exit BARC.
"NDTV has consistently maintained that there is something terribly wrong with the way television ratings are measured, yet for lack of an alternative have been part of the current system.", the news channel had said.
This is not the first time Republic has found itself in a soup. Just a day ago, Times Now had filed a theft complaint against Arnab Goswami, alleging he stole phone recordings that he eventually used in much-hyped Republic TV’s Stories On Lalu Prasad Yadav And Shashi Tharoor.
The BCCL complaint said the audio tapes of both the stories were procured and accessed while both Goswami and Prema Sridevi were Times Now employees.