On October 8, Mumbai police claimed that some Media channels have been manipulating the TRPs. The Mumbai police said that in order to increase the TRPs, channels have been asking households to keep their channels switched on by giving them a monthly fee.
The channels that were accused of this malpractice were Fast Marathi, Box Cinema and India’s largest media network, Republic tv. The owners of both the Marathi channels are taken into custody and are charged under IPC section 420 for cheating and dishonesty and section 409 for the breach of trust.
The police established that the contracts for counting the rating points were given to a company, Hansa. Some former employees of the organization working with Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) shared TRP with certain channels.
BARC blamed Republic Tv for manipulating the TRPs, they have fixed over 2,000 Barometers in Mumbai. The police revealed that the suspected channels asked some households to keep the channels on even when they are not at home, as the TRP is calculated on the viewership.
The FIR filed has accused the channels would bribe the households and give them monthly payments of Rs, 400 to Rs. 500. Even people who do not know english, kept english channels switched on. The Indian advertising agency is worth over 30,000 crores and they have to compete as per their viewership counts.
The police stated the TRP manipulation is a part of a bigger malpractice which also includes fake news being spread by the channels. The Mumbai police commissioner said the police will investigate the funds channels receive from the advertisers. Some more channels would be examined soon.
The police confirmed that the investigation would be conducted no matter who is involved in the channel. They earned the advertisements by spiking the TRPs, therefore will be treated as proceeds from crime.
BARC follows the ‘established and disciplinary guidelines’ and they sincerely address the Tv habits of the people. BARC said that they acknowledge the ways of the police and will support them.
The Republic TV’s statement
The Republic TV believes that it is an attempt to defame the channel and they will file a defamation case against the Mumbai police commissioner.
After the Press conference of the Police Commissioner, Republic Tv said that all the accusations are false. The police commissioner held a grudge against the channel as they had questioned him regarding the Sushant Singh Rajput Murder case.
The Editor- in- chief of Republic Media Network, Arnab Goswami said that all these fake accusations only encourages them to work hard to get to the truth.
Republic Tv gave the statement that they will fight back and will continue their investigation into the case of the death of Sushant Singh Rajput.
Goswami had managed to get his hand on the FIR mentioned by the police commissioner. They discovered that Republic Tv was not mentioned in the report but it was India Today against whom the report was filed. He also said that the Mumbai Police Commissioner shall face legal implications and also demands an apology.