Within two weeks of its launch, Arnab Goswami's Republic TV has become the most-watched news channel in India, the Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) said on Thursday.
The announcement by BARC saw an immediate exit of several English channels affiliated to the News Broadcasters Association (NBA).
According to the NBA's own website, it presently has '23 leading news and current affairs broadcasters (comprising 62 news and current affairs channels) as its members.'
The members of NBA include Times Now, India Today, NDTV, and the TV 18 Group.
According to a report in Livemint, Republic, which was launched on May 6, ended the week on May 12, with 2.11 million impressions, which was 84.4% more than Times Now, which was Goswami's earlier employer.
This comes after allegations by the NBA that had alleged that Republic TV indulged in 'unethical distribution practices' and asked the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) to take appropriate action against the channel.
Meanwhile, the NBA wrote a letter to Partho Dasgupta, CEO, BARC India, stating that it had gone ahead with 'inflated and corrupt data for Republic TV'.
"Given your indifference to the serious situation at hand, we are left with no option but to advise some of our aggrieved members to opt out of BARC's watermarking system with immediate effect until there is appropriate redressal of our grievance," the letter was quoted as saying.
NBA in its letters last week, had accused Republic TV of listing itself on more than one channel number on various cable networks.
Stating that dual listing was a violation of TRAI regulations, Newslaundry gave several examples of how Republic TV could be found on more than one channel on a few cable networks like Hathway and Den.
However, the report adds that the dual channels were taken off the networks by May 16.
Arnab also thanked his viewers on Thursday night, after the ratings were announced.
"I am overwhelmed because so many people have never put their trust in a single media outlet like this before. I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart," he said.
Hinting at the attacks from his former employer, Arnab called the media group 'delusional' and also said, "Legal threats and personal attacks have been used repeatedly by one media house. They have been rejected by the people of this country...This media group has focused its entire energies on trying to harass us. Tonight, I want to tell this delusional media group that new-age media and new-age journalists find their methods laughable."
We thank the people of India. pic.twitter.com/hr9XCxpiItâ€” Republic (@republic) May 18, 2017
â€” Republic (@republic) May 18, 2017
Thank You, from Arnab. pic.twitter.com/QvBqL95SxZâ€” Republic (@republic) May 18, 2017
BARC has replied with the following:
https://t.co/8Wai3swEleâ€” BARCIndia (@BARCIndia) May 19, 2017