The Mumbai Police is probing a possible manipulation of TRP ratings by several channels. According to reports, Param Bir Singh has identified three channels including Republic TV and they are now being investigated. The TRP data is released on a weekly basis by the BARC.
Within the city, there are 2,000 barometers that have been installed to monitor the TRPs and the monitoring was done by a company named Hansa. According to reports, the complaint was filed by Hansa Research against some of their former employees who could have helped manipulate the data. Current employees and insiders may also be involved.
The houses where barometers were installed were asked to watch a particular channel, read a statement issued by Mumbai Police. Now, two persons have been arrested in this regard.
According to their website, Hansa Research is one of the largest consumer insights companies in the country, with clients in 77 countries and research offices in India, Singapore and the USA. While they have offices in multiple Indian cities, the Hansa Research Group's headquarters are in Mumbai's Vidyavihar area.
The company is headed by CEO Praveen Nijhara who had earlier been a senior executive director with KANTAR IMRB. Hansa Research is a part of the RK Swamy Hansa Group of which Shekar Swamy is the CEO.
According to a earlier Livemint article, plans to install audience measurement meters in around 22,000 Indian houses was undertaken in 2014 with Hansa Research being tasked with installing these meters to pull viewership data.
Reportedly, this is not the time Hansa Research has had to approach the police over their employees. As per a Newslaundry report from 2018, Hansa had registered a complaint in April after a leak of BARC-related data by an employee. A complaint had been registered at Gwalior’s Madhav Ganj police station and the accused had then been booked under relevant sections of the IPC.