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Zee Media exits BARC, 14 news channels to be out of viewership rating

Zee Media, which runs 14 national and regional news channels in 10 languages, has pulled out of the Broadcast Audience Research Council of India (BARC), sources told Business Standard on Friday.

The company, a part of the Essel group, sent a letter to the TV viewership measurement company on Friday evening informing the decision to exit the service subscription. According to sources, this means that the Zee news channels will not be part of the BARC viewership coverage.

A mail sent to Zee Media elicited no response until publishing.

In March, New Delhi Television (NDTV), which runs Hindi and English news channels, pulled out of BARC, saying it had reiterated the need for a larger sample of meters to measure viewership from time to time.

Apart from NDTV, other news broadcasters, including Republic TV, have pointed to the same.

BARC has a sample size of 44,000 people meters.

Between October 2020 and March 2022, the body paused news viewership data to increase its sample size to 50,000 people meters. But, industry experts said the Covid-19 pandemic had hampered efforts to increase the number.

However, BARC did change its viewership reporting method for news channels, in particular, by taking audience estimates on a four-week rolling average basis to arrive at viewership numbers for a specific week. This would improve the stability of numbers, BARC said in March. Business Standard

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