The Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) on Thursday released Republic TV ratings, ignoring requests and even threats by the News Broadcasters Association (NBA).

Republic Number 1 in its debut week

  • Republic went live on May 6 and within the very first week, the Arnab Goswami-led news channel has topped the BARC ratings.

The ratings (in week 19 of 2017) are based on impressions between May 6 and May 12, the first week of Republic's launch. Impressions (also known as television viewership in thousands (TVT))  are the total number of people tuned into a programme or channel on average in a minute. 

As the list shows, Republic leads with 2117 impressions (000s) (or 2.11 million impressions) with market leader Times Now close behind with 1148 impressions (000s). Republic TV is 84.4 percent higher than that of Times Now where Goswami was working as Editor-in-chief till he famously quit in November.

A week prior to this, it was Times Now that stood atop with 645 impressions (000s), followed by India Today and NDTV with 368 and 290 impressions (000s) respectively. 

  • The channel also claimed a 52 percent viewership in the very first week of operations. 

This is based on the BARC Data from May 6 to May 18 for cities with population of more than 10 lakh. The figure shows Republic TV with a market share of 51.9 percent, which is more than the share of all the rest of the English News channels combined. Times Now is down to 24.5 percent.

After the ratings were released, Republic went on to pat its back and celebrate with a number of tweets:

But the ratings are marred in controversy

On 17 May, the NBA President Ashish Bagga wrote to BARC CEO Partho Dasgupta, urging him not to release Republic TV’s viewership data until it stops running on multiple feeds. 

The NBA objected to Republic TV's presence on multiple LCNs/genres on several DPOs, distributors and MSOs - basically its presence across multiple frequencies - and asked BARC to withhold Republic TV’s viewership data until it stops the alleged malpractice, as reported by Indiantelevision.com

The NBA had even warned that the release of Republic TV's data would be tantamount to "aiding and abetting such practices which will have serious consequences on the news broadcasting industry in India."

The BARC clearly ignored the objections.