After Arnab Goswami's channel, Republic, emerged the most watched English News channel in its debut week, rival channels have exited BARC. The council by English channels affiliated to the News Broadcasters Association has advised its members to exit BARC accusing it of being 'indifferent'.
The NBA in a letter to Partho Dasgupta the CEO of BARC India said that its indifference to NBA's request to hold the viewership ratings of newly launched Republic TV led to the exit. "Given your indifference to the serious situation at hand, we are left with no option but to advise some of our aggrieved members to opt out of BARC's watermarking system with immediate effect until there is appropriate redressal of our grievance," the letter said.
The NBA had raised complaints against Arnab Goswami's Republic TV with BARC and TRAI. Complaints were raised about multiple LCNs being used by Republic TV which was termed 'inflated and corrupt'. It was requested that BARC not releases viewership data of the channel.
"Despite our two letters, you have gone ahead and released the inflated and corrupt data for Republic TV. This has serious implications and has caused irreversible damage to India's existing English news TV channels," said Annie Joseph, the secretary general of NBA wrote in the letter. The NBA also alleged that according to BARC's own data 'there was no logic or rationale for Republic TV to have the kind of shares and reach across all key markets'. "On a pan-India basis, discrepancies have been noticed across markets which completely distort the statistics for a very important and influential news genre," the letter said.
Arnab Goswami's team from the republic, however, celebrated what they called a massive success. In a statement issued after BARC rated his channel number one in viewership, Arnab Goswami said, "The ratings reaffirm my faith that people watch what they find credible."