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Mumbai Police names Republic TV as TRP ‘manipulator’, channel hits back, says will sue

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Mumbai Police names Republic TV as TRP ‘manipulator’, channel hits back, says will sue

Mumbai (ILNS): The Mumbai Police, through a press note, has announced that it has “busted a major racket which is fraudulently involved in manipulating Television Ratings Points (TRP).” The major point in this is that the right-leaning Republic TV, politically aligned against the Shiv Sena-government state of Maharashtra, has been named as one of the perpetrators of such “malpractices” for which the police intends to take action.

The ‘bust’ has been done by the Detection Crime Branch of the police, says the press release. The police say it has already arrested two people in this regard.

Other channels in this net are Fakt Marathi, Box Cinema etc., as per the police.

Republic TV, headed by Arnab Goswami, has already hit back. In a tweet Goswami has said, among other things, that the Mumbai Police Commissioner had done this “…because we have questioned him (Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh) in the Sushant Sigh Rajputr case investigation… He should issue an offocial apology and get ready to face us in court.”

The details are available in the police press release. It says: “BARC is an organization which functions under the governance of Ministry of Information & Broadcasting (MIB) and Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI)… It has installed approximately 30,000 barometers in various parts of India which monitor various programmes and based on the statistical metrics, BARC awards ratings to various TV channels.  Based on these ratings, advertisers pay for their advertisers.  Manipulated TRP ratings adversely result in miscalculated targeted audience for the advertisers.  This further results into losses of hundreds of crores of rupees because of such manipulation’s and fake statistics of TRP.

“On a complaint the Crime Branch nabbed a person from Malad.  In the preliminary inquiry he revealed that he had been working for a company which is a part of Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC).  One of the arrested accused persons and some of the wanted accused persons were employees of Hansa Research Group Pvt Ltd and they have misused the confidential data which had been entrusted to them.

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“It has apparently been done for wrongful gains of various TV channels which had resulted in wrongful loss to various advertisers and their agencies. Preliminary investigations also revealed that these accused persons have manipulated the sampling metering services by inducing the barometer users by paying them periodically to watch particular tv channel / s.

“Many of the people in whose homes these barometers have been installed, have accepted that they have been monetarily beneficial for keeping their TV sets on even if they actually didn’t watch.

“An offense has been registered at Kandivali Police Station in this regard. The arrested accused persons were produced before the Hon ACMM, where they have been remanded to Crime Branch custody till 9th October…

“It has been revealed in the investigation carried so far that certain tv channels such as Republic, Fakt Marathi, Box Cinema etc have been indulged in such malpractices.  Certain witnesses have come forward stating that they were induced by the arrested accused persons and their accomplices for a monthly monetary consideration,” the press release added.

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