The Mumbai Police on Thursday addressed a press conference on TRP (Television Ratings Points) manipulation scandal and alleged that 3 private news channels including Republic TV manipulated the TRP system. Speaking on the scandal, Mumbai Police commissioner Param Bir Singh said that Republic TV's director and promotor will be summoned and questioned in the case.
Mumbai Police further said an investigation is underway against these 3 channels (Republic TV, Fakt Marathi, Box Cinema) in TRP manipulation case. Meanwhile, two people have been arrested so far. The police also mentioned that the details of these channel's bank accounts and sources of funding will be investigated. Mumbai's top cop added that if any crime is revealed then action will be taken against those channels and their accounts will be sealed.
"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," Mumbai Police said in a statement.
Mumbai Police's statement on fake TRP scandal | Key takeaways
- The Detection Crime Branch have busted a major racket which is fraudulently involved in manipulating Television Ratings Points (TRP). Two persons are arrested in this regard.
- BARC is an organization which functions under the governance of Ministry of Information & Broadcasting (MIB) and Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI). It claims that it powers 33,20,00 crores Indian TV Ad industry by providing sharp insights. It has installed approximately 30,000 barometers in various parts of India which monitor various programs 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. 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 person 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. 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 channels.
- 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 ACMM, where they have been remanded to Crime Branch custody till 9th October ACP Shashank Sandbhor is the Chief Investigating Officer of the case assisted by API Sachin Waze and his team of the CLU under the guidance of JICP Crime Milind Bharambe, DCP Detection Nandkumar Thakur, DCP Akbar Pathan.
- An all out efforts are being made to trace the roots of the matter. Several teams have been sent in various states across India to nab the absconding accused persons.