Audience measurement body BARC India’s Disciplinary Committee (DisComm) has taken penal action against 12 channels.
The highest number of instances have been reported from South India market: 6 from Tamil Nadu, 5 from AP/Telangana and 1 from Karnataka. FIRs were filed in Telangana and arrests have been made in Karnataka and Gwalior, without mentioning channels name.
BARC India had set up DisComm to probe complaints of viewership malpractice in March, 2017. The DisComm is headed by Justice Mukul Mudgal, former Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court, and has representation of all three industry bodies Indian Broadcasting Federation (IBF), Indian Society of Advertisers (ISA) and Advertising Agencies Association of India (AAAI). The committee also comprises of D. Shivanandan, former Mumbai Police Commissioner and Maharashtra DGP, and Paritosh Joshi, independent technical expert.
18 cases have been referred to the DisComm with evidence of such malpractices, over the course of the last 28 months.
BARC India has taken some initiatives like Sample Return Path Data (SRPD), which will not only make the viewership data more robust but will also help address the issue of panel home tampering.