Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC)Board has decided to temporarily pause weekly ratings for news channel for three months amidst the alleged rigging of viewership ratings.

The rating agency has decided to pause the ratings for news channel with immediate effect as it is reviewing its system for the same.

A statement released by the agency said, “In light of the recent developments, BARC Board has proposed that it’s Technical Committee (Tech Comm) review and augment the current standards of measuring and reporting the data of niche genres, to improve their statistical robustness and to significantly hamper the potential attempts of infiltrating the panel homes,”

The agency’s statement further adds that this exercise will be expected to take around eight to twelve weeks and will be applicable to all Hindi, Regional, English news and Business news channels.

The statement reads: ”This exercise would cover all Hindi, Regional, English news and Business news channels with immediate effect. Therefore, starting with the ‘News Genre’, BARC will cease publishing the weekly individual ratings for news channels during the exercise. This exercise is expected to take around 8-12 weeks, including validation and testing under the supervision of BARCs Tech Comm”.

Recently, Mumbai Police had said that TRPs were being manipulated by certain section. The police named Republic TV and two other Marathi channels Fakt Marathi and Box Cinema.

The News Broadcasters Association(NBA) in a statement said that suspension of ratings “will be utilised to implement important reforms at BARC”.

NBA president Rajat Sharma said, “Recent revelations have brought disrepute to the measurement agency and by extension the broadcast news media. The corrupted, compromised, irrationally fluctuating data is creating a false narrative on What India Watches and has been putting pressure on our members to take editorial calls that run counter to the journalistic values and ideals of journalism.”