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BARC issues show-cause notice to Raj TV for bribing BARC panel homes

NEW DELHI: The Broadcasters Audience Research Council (BARC) has sent a show-cause notice to South Indian broadcaster Raj Television Network for allegedly bribing BARC panel home members to increase the viewership of its flagship channel Raj TV.

According to a report in The Times of India, the show-cause notice stated that certain “sample homes have been approached and have been asked to watch your channel Raj TV against payment of consideration”.

It is pertinent to note that BARC CEO Partho Dasgupta had made a startling revelation at TelevisionPost.com’s Digitise India conference that executives of some South Indian TV channels were trying to bribe BARC panel homes to watch their shows.

“People are going around in homes in another city down South where two programmes from two broadcasters have been told to be watched. Obviously, it is someone else at play,” he had said.

On being asked as to why BARC is not naming and shaming such channels, Dasgupta had said, “We would love to do that, but it is difficult to get hard evidence. Given half the chance, we would love to do that.”

Queried about the show-cause notice, Dasgupta declined to comment on the matter.

Raj Television Network director of marketing M Ragunathan, however, brushed aside the allegation. “Somebody has made a false complaint. We are meeting BARC over the same,” he told TOI.