In an interesting development, the Mumbai city police on Thursday claimed to have busted a fake Television Rating Points (TRP) racket that involved about Rs 40,000 crore advertisement revenue.
Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh, who is accused of actor Sushantsingh Rajput suspicious death painting as ‘suicide’, alleged that the Republic TV and two other entertainment channels namely Fakta Marathi and Box Movie were part of this racket.
“The Mumbai crime branch unearthed this racket. These three channels were manipulating the TRP to get huge advertisement revenue. The BARC agency, which does the TRP work, had appointed Hansa, a private firm for the installation of TRP meters. In India, a total of 30,000 such TRP meters are installed including 2,000 in Mumbai. As per these meters viewers rating, the TRP is counted,” Singh said.
He added that former employees of Hansa shared the confidential information about households where the TRP meters are installed for these three channels.
But, the Editor-in-Chief of Republic TV Arnab Goswami stoudly denied of his channel involving in any TRP manipulations as alleged by the Police Commissioner and even threatened file a criminal defmation case for spreading against a credible channel like his. He even dare accused the ruling Aghadi government for the conspiracy to ‘fix’ or ‘shut’ his channel as they are scared of his channel which is speaking the voice of people and trying to bring truth out either in SSR alleged murder or Hathras so called gang rape and other issues.
Arnab Goswami, who is known for his aggressive journalism, blames his rivals for enjoying vicarious pleasure at Mumbai police baseless allegations.
Earlier, the Police Commissioner said; “These three channels approached the TRP meter-installed household and asked them to watch them in return for money. There are some people who do not understand English but were watching Republic TV for money. Even, the members of these households kept the TV on while they were out after locking their houses,” Mumbai police commissioner said.
He said that they have arrested owners of two channels. The owner and directors of Republic TV would be soon called for questioning and necessary actions will be taken, the commissioner further said.
“These channels illegally manipulated the TRP rating to earn illegal revenue through advertisements. This is a criminal breach of trust and cheating. We will check the accounts of these channels with help of forensic experts. We will also check the past TRP and advertisements,” Param Bir Singh said.