Trouble for Zee Media after Prasar Bharati asks BARC to act against 9 regional channels

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India’s official broadcaster Prasar Bharati has asked Broadcast Audience Research Council to act against Zee Media after the group’s nine TV channels were found to be fraudulently airing its channels free to air.

Prasar Bharati

In its letter to BARC, Prasar Bharati wrote, “This is with reference to data released by BARC India in respect of Free Platform (Free Dish and Terrestrial).”

It added, “In this regard, please find enclosed herewith an email dated 29.03.2022 from M/s TV18 Broadcast Ltd.”

Prasar Bharati said that nine Zee TV channels namely Zee Madhya Pradesh/Chhattisgarh, Zee Bihar/Jharkhand, Zee Uttar Pradesh/Uttarakhand, Zee Salaam, Zee Rajasthan, Zee 24 Kalak, Zee Punjab/Haryana/Himachal Pradesh, Zee 24 Taas and Zee Odisha have been in violation of free to air rules. “It is to convey that following 09 TV channels have not been allotted slots on DD Free Dish by Prasar Bharati and are not part of DD Free Dish bouquet of channels,” the letter by Prasar Bharati said.

It asked the BARC to take ‘necessary action’ against the nine TV channels belonging to Zee Media.

BARC has recently resumed releasing audience data after it suspended the operation in the wake of allegations of TRP scam by the Mumbai Police.

According to reports, Zee Media has only paid the government for only two slots on DD Free Dish. Airing any more channels results in a loss of revenue for the government.

In the past, several rival channels wrote to the government highlighting the unfair practice of Zee Media.