Mumbai police has claimed to have unearthed a new racket revolving around Television Rating Points (TRPs). The Mumbai Commissioner of Police, Parambir Singh, IPS stated on Thursday that fake accounts, propaganda and false narratives were being run by some channels. Two people have been arrested so far.
Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh said the city police is probing an alleged TRP scam where certain news channels manipulated BARC data to boost their ratings. He identified Republic TV, Fakt Marathi and Box Cinema by name.
'A small manipulation involves hundreds of crores': Mumbai Police Commissioner
Televisions' advertisement industry is worth Rs 30,000 to 40,000 crores. How much money will be paid for advertising on a particular channel or a program depends on the TRP. TRP is a tool to judge which TV programmes are viewed the most. A small manipulation involves hundreds of crores, said the commissioner. Broadcast Audience Research Council decides the TRPs and with these revelations, its role has now come under the scanner.
The commissioner said that BARC installs barometers to calculate the TRPs. He stated that over 30,000 barometers have been installed in India and Mumbai alone has 2,000 barometers. The placement of barometers is confidential. The contract for installing these barometers was given to a company called Hansa Research Group Pvt Ltd. One of the persons arrested was an employee of the Hansa Group and confidential data was misused.
Shocking revelations by the police
Shocking revelations from the commissioner stated that certain households were asked to keep these channels on for the entire day. For doing this, they were paid Rs 400-500 per month. Singh added, "Illiterate homes were asked to keep English channels on. There was false TRP spreading. TRP ratings were being bought. The manipulation was mainly for advertising revenues."
There were many users who were demanding the arrest of Arnab Goswami following these revelations. Twitter users stated that this is what happens when TV channels take political stands. Several users pointed towards Arnab Goswami saying that things will heat up for Republic TV after Mumbai Polices' media briefing.
Arnab Goswami was quoted as saying that he and his channel were being targeted because they questioned the Mumbai police about Sushant Singh Rajput's case.