A debate is raging over whether Republic has manipulated the TRPs that are issued by Broadcast Research Council of India, but a public — and impartial — source shows that Republic has a commanding lead over other channels.
A cursory glance at YouTube numbers shows that Republic has a far bigger audience than other news channels. Most news channels livestream their broadcasts on YouTube, and YouTube shows the number of people who’re watching the live stream. As of 6 pm today, 4,900 people were watching the Republic TV stream live.
In comparison, at the same time, only 839 people were watching the India Today stream live.
The numbers were even lower for CNN News 18, which was being watched by a mere 276 people.
These numbers roughly coincide with the numbers released by BARC. This week, Republic TV had nearly 4x the viewers of India Today as per BARC data, while 5x more people were watching its YouTube channel.
To use YouTube data as a proxy for BARC data isn’t, of course, entirely scientific — BARC reports data on TV watched in households, and YouTube shows online data, and viewership numbers can change based on different times of the day. But thanks to Jio, India now has a fairly high internet penetration, and especially for English channels, it’s likely that YouTube numbers would largely coincide with BARC data. And in spite of the allegations by the Mumbai Police, an analysis of a public impartial source suggests that the numbers being reported by BARC aren’t too far off the mark.