By Ishank Katyal
Mumbai: Mumbai Police crime branch on Thursday has busted three TV channels under Television Rating Points (TRP) Manipulation fraud named Fast Marathi, Box Cinema and Republic TV. Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh told reporters that the crime branch will question Republic TV’s editor- in- chief Arnab Goswami on TRP fraud. The viewership of Republic Bharat, which is the Hindi language segment of Republic media shown a sudden jump which left Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) suspicious about the foul play.
BARC is the body which gives television rating points to the TV channels in India had earlier suspected Republic TV for manipulation of the rating device.
Hansa Research, the company that installed rating boxes called barometers for BARC filed an FIR in Mumbai Police against the TV channel. They said in the report that someone from the former employees has leaked or sold the data of the households where these rating systems are assembled.
TRPs are basically manipulated to make it to the top- notch viewed channels which can also boost up the revenue and goodwill of the media organisation and could charge advertisers more than they deserved.
Now the Criminal Intelligence Unit of Crime Branch has arrested the owners of two other channels and seized a whopping amount of Rs. 28.5 lakhs from them. The Crime Branch is soon to summon the channel owner Arnab Goswami and to check the bank account statements of the news channel.
Republic TV Statement
Republic TV issued a statement in which they are denying all the allegations made by Hansa Research Company are “fake” and that Param Bir Singh is making allegations because Arnab Goswami questioned Mumbai Police on their role in Sushant Singh Rajput’s death case.
Reportedly Arnab Goswami is also going to file the defamation case against Mumbai Police and told Singh to face the consequences.
One of the spokespersons of BARC commented on the controversy, “As in all our previous cases of suspected panel homes intrusions, BARC India continues to follow its established vigilance and disciplinary guidelines. BARC remains true to its purpose to accurately and faithfully report ‘What India watches’. BARC India appreciates the efforts of the Mumbai Police and will provide the support asked of it.”