NBF presses for restart of viewership ratings for news genre in meeting with I&B Minister


Guwahati: The Governing Board members and senior member broadcasters of News Broadcasters Federation (NBF), India’s largest body of news broadcasters, met Union Information & Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur yesterday (August 17, 2021) and apprised him on the key issues facing the news industry, the recent growth and trends in the news broadcasting sector and the challenges facing the news broadcasting industry in recent times.

During the meeting, the NBF members highlighted the need for the immediate resumption of viewership ratings for the news genre, which have been unilaterally paused and has severely impacted the sustainability of news channels.
Speaking about the meeting, the I&B Minister said, “It was a pleasure to meet and exchange views with the NBF governing board led by Mr Arnab Goswami. It was a productive exchange of views and I look forward to engaging with the NBF on issues regarding news broadcasting and the role of news broadcasting in strengthening our democracy.”

Founding President of the NBF, Arnab Goswami, added here, “The meeting of NBF members with the Minister was a wonderful opportunity to apprise him about the steps we have taken to build India’s largest federation of news broadcasters. The Minister has heard our views and concerns in detail and we look forward to working with the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to make the news broadcasting sector even stronger.”

The NBF Governing Board also apprised the Union Minister about the initiatives taken by the NBF to provide greater representation to channels broadcasting in various languages and on further steps to strengthen self-regulation among NBF member channels.

Barun Das, CEO of News9 Network and Vice President of the NBF, said, “It was a pleasure to be a part of the NBF delegation to meet the honourable Minister of I&B. The highly competitive news TV genre certainly needs a level-playing field for new promising players both in the national arena and regional markets. We felt extremely assured after our meeting today.”

In its meeting with the Minister, the NBF also submitted that it is essential for news viewership ratings to be released.

Shankar Bala, CEO of Fourth Dimension and Vice President of the NBF, after the meeting with the Minister, said, “The meeting was really pathbreaking. It was a great opportunity to meet the Minister. He was extremely cordial and he heard us patiently. Whatever the issues were, those were addressed. We have particularly stated that it is essential to release the viewership ratings for news channels, which were unilaterally stopped. The resumption of the publication of news ratings will ensure fair play and a measurement-driven competitive news industry. We have a lot of expectations after our talks.”

After attending the meeting, Riniki Bhuyan Sarma, Managing Director of Pride East Entertainments, said, “It was a cordial meeting with Mr Anurag ji and it was a very positive meeting. As a team, NBF put forth the problems we tend to face and the ways in which we want to raise and address our concerns. At least, we can go forward and help regional industries survive, like ours. The Minister gave us a patient hearing and we are very grateful to the Ministry. We are now looking forward to the future and ways as to how we can progress together.”

Kartikeya Sharma, Promoter of ITV Network and Vice-President of the NBF, added here, “It was a very positive meeting with the Minister. The Minister heard out all the matters raised by various members of the NBF. I would like to thank the Minister for hearing the viewpoints of all news channels from across India and from regional channels as well.”

The NBF delegation included Arnab Goswami, Editor-in-Chief of the Republic Media Network, Barun Das, CEO of the TV9 News Network, Sanjive Narain, Founder/Managing Director of Prag News, Riniki Bhuyan Sarma, Chairperson/ Managing Director of Pride East Entertainment, Kartikeya Sharma, Founder/ Promoter of  ITV Network, Shankar Bala of CEO-Fourth Dimension, Hemant Sharma, News Director of TV9 Bharatvarsh, Manoj Gairola, Editor-in-chief of News Nation, Mahendra Bhatla, Chairperson of MHOne, Divaakar S, Business Head of Newsfirst Kannada, R. Jai Krishna, Secretary-General of NBF and Eshita, Associate for Policy and Regulations of NBF.

The NBF channels presently include 24News, Alamai Sahara, CVR English, CVR Health, CVR NEWS, DA News Plus, DY365, Gulistan News, IBC24, IND 24, India News Gujarat, India News Haryana, India News Hindi, India News MPCG, India News Punjabi, India News Rajasthan, India News UP, Khabar Fast, MHOne, NEWS9, News First Kannada, News Live, News Nation, NewsX, North East Live, North East News, OTV, Prag News, Puthiyathalaimurai, Republic Bangla, Republic Bharat, Republic TV, Sahara Samay, Samay Bihar, Samay Maharashtra, Samay MPCG, Samay Rajasthan, Samay UP, TV5 Kannada, TV5 Telugu, TV9 Bharatvarsh, TV9 Gujarati, TV9 Kannada, TV9 Marathi, TV9 Telugu and V6.