In a press release on Monday, the News Broadcasters Association of India (NBA) strongly condemned the revelation of TRP manipulation in the leaked WhatsApp chats between Republic TV Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami and former BARC CEO Partho Dasgupta.
Stating they were "shocked" to see the extent of how there was evidence of "fraudulently manually reducing ratings of other channels to give Republic TV an unfair advantage", the association called for immediate suspension of Republic TV from the Indian Broadcasting Foundation. A case should also be registered in this matter, they demanded.
"It is indeed with dismay that NBA notes the fact that...BARC sat on the forensic report for several months," the press release notes. "This is a glaring example of the systemic lack of transparency that has prevailed right since the inception of BARC."
The NBA strongly demanded that BARC make a clear statement about the veracity of its ratings in the period during the audit. They also demanded that they expunge the data of Republic TV to show their real position. Further consultation with a sub-committee made up of NBA members in BARC would be needed, they added.
Other demands include an explanation of the concrete steps taken by BARC in the last three months to secure the ratings, an assurance of further transparency and also an explanation for what penal actions are provided in the BARC constitution against broadcasters who have indulged in the manipulation of ratings "of this magnitude".
"Ratings of news channels would remain suspended till such time all details of such actions taken by BARC are shared with the stakeholders," the NBA said.