Param Bir Singh
Param Bir Singh
Photo by ANI

The Mumbai crime branch on Thursday busted a racket involved in manipulation of Television Rating Points (TRP).

The Mumbai police further said that the investigation carried out so far revealed certain TV channels such as Republic, Fakt Marathi, Box Cinema, etc have been indulged in such malpractices. While addressing a press conference, Mumbai police commissioner Param Bir Singh said," 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".

While rebuffing the Mumbai police's claim Republic network in a press statement said that, "Singh has made false allegations against Republic TV as they have questioned him in Sushant Singh Rajput's case investigation and they will file a criminal defamation case against Singh".

So far the crime branch has arrested two persons involved in the case. One is former employee of a company which is a part of Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) while the other accused and few others who are wanted in the case were employees of Hansa Research Group Pvt Ltd.

Singh further added that, "The accused persons are found to be paying barometer users periodically to watch perticular 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". Certain witnesses have come forward stating that they were induced by the arrested accused persons and their accomplices for a monthly monetary consideration. Barometer is an instrument which help the agency to calculate TRP of a perticular program of that of channel.

According to Mumbai Police BARC has installed approximately 30000 barometers in various parts of India, these barometers monitor various programs and BARC awards ratings to various tv channels. These ratings help advertisers pay for their advertisements. Manipulated TRP rating results into losses of hundreds of crores of rupees to the advertisers.
BARC which functions under the governance of the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting (MIB) and Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI). It claims that it powers 332000 crore Indian TV ad industry by providing sharp insights.

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