Fake TRPs: BARC welcomes probe, affirms commitment to represent true numbers

Amid controversy over an alleged plot to manipulate TRPs, the Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) on Thursday said it is committed to report a true picture of television viewership and welcomed the Mumbai Police's investigation into the case.

Earlier in the day, city police chief Param Bir Singh claimed to have busted a racket to manipulate TRPs and arrested two persons.

TRP (television rating point) is a tool to judge which TV programmes and channels are viewed the most.

"As in all our previous cases of suspected panel homes intrusions, BARC India continues to follow its established vigilance and disciplinary guidelines...BARC India appreciates the efforts of the Mumbai Police and will provide the support asked of it," a BARC India spokesperson said.

The body added that it remains "steadfastly true" to its purpose to accurately and faithfully report "what India watches".

In a statement, the city police said BARC functions under the Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, and it has installed 30,000 barometers in homes to monitor TV consumption and come out with the TRP numbers.

It is based on these TRPs that marketers place advertisements and manipulation of the numbers may have resulted in losses, the police said.

Singh told reporters that a national TV news channel, facing flak over its attack on Mumbai Police and the Maharashtra government in the Sushant Singh Rajput death case, was also involved in the TRP racket.

The Detection Crime Branch of Mumbai Police has arrested owners of two Marathi channels for manipulating viewership ratings.

The national news channel is also involved in the TRP racket and persons responsible for this will also be arrested, whether one is director, promoter or any other employee of the channel, the police commissioner said.

Bank accounts of these channels are also being probed and people responsible for the TRP racket are being summoned by police for further investigation in the case, he added.

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