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Why there is disagreement among news broadcasters on viewership measurement

Delhi: The MIB has decided to postpone approving the release of the audience statistics for news and specialty programming.

The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has placed the unrolling of viewership statistics for news and specialized genres on hold, one week after approving its approval.

When the ratings for the news genre were restored on March 17, 2022, following a 17-month break brought on by the purported TRP scam, the four-week rolling average was first used. But according to reports, several broadcasters asked BARC for unrolled data. After then, the ratings agency asked MIB for approval.

Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) received permission from the Ministry last week to share weekly Raw Level Data (RLD) with news and niche genre broadcasters. But MIB placed it on hold on Monday, so the broadcasters will only be able to receive four-week rolling average data going forward.

Industry insiders claim that it is unfair that broadcasters are not given access to weekly data and that the four-week rolling average or moving average data is of little use to them.

There are two lobbies lobbying for and against the rolling data, according to an industry expert. “They are both sufficiently strong. A clear picture of the audience cannot be obtained from the rolled viewership data, which is the cumulative data of 4 weeks. However, he claims that the inferior players in the field benefit from the lack of openness.

The rolled data only covers a four-week period, so it’s unclear how many people watched major events like the Cricket World Cup. Speaking under anonymity, an additional expert claims that the statistics showed that the Israel-Palestine conflict was the main topic of discussion on all news channels since war-related stories attracted the highest audience.

The news outlets demanded greater data transparency because there were state elections currently taking place and the federal elections soon. They asked BARC to release weekly statistics, and the organization asked MIB for approval,” he claims.

The news genre’s ratings, however, are erratic. The number of viewers may rise or fall depending on how interested people are in a specific news story. The rolling data, according to another industry expert, lessens this volatility.

“The weekly data does not present the whole picture due to volatility. He claims that the rolled data is a reliable and logical system.

The weekly (or unrolled) data, according to him, is unsustainable. “Counting down the days to the elections will result in a spike.” The broadcasters won’t be able to handle the mileage of these spikes if the data is rolled. However, they will also have to endure the suffering of the lows if they hope to benefit from the rises, he adds.

The ministry requested that the agency produce statistics for the news genre, which would be evaluated using a four-week rolling average concept, when ratings for the genre were recommenced in March 2022.

The recommendations made by a MIB committee led to this. However, thus far, every one of their suggestions has been shown to be useless. The expert says BARC should make the decision about what is best for transparency and that the MIB shouldn’t become involved in this matter.