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BARC to set up independent committee to handle unfair practices

MUMBAI: Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) India, India’s lone TV ratings agency, will set up an independent disciplinary committee to deal with unfair practices. This decision comes in the backdrop of complaints against some television channels trying to tamper BARC’s panel homes to rig ratings.

The committee will be headed by a retired judge. It will look into issues related to ratings disputes and unfair practices.

The committee will be authorised to take action against channels which try to tamper with BARC’s panel homes — houses where BARC has installed its meters — in order to manipulate ratings, The Economic Times reported.

The committee will have representations from all three industry bodies — the Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF), the Indian Society of Advertisers (ISA), and the Advertising Agencies Association of India (AAAI). It will also have two or three independent experts on the board from the measurement science field and from the media industry, the business daily reported.

Failure to comply with the decision of the committee may attract harsh action in terms of suspension or termination of the ratings.

Late last year, BARC withdrew its ratings suspension order against some news channels. It had suspended the ratings of these channels for allegedly trying to influence ratings.

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