The Detection Crime Branch has busted a major racket that is fraudulently involved in manipulating Television Rating Points (TRP). Two persons are arrested in this regard. BARC is an organization that functions under the governance of the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting (MIB) and Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI). It claims that it powers 332000 crores Indian tv ad industry by providing sharp insights. It has installed approximately 30000 barometers in various parts of India which monitors various programs and based on the statistical metrics, BARC awards ratings to various TV channels.
Republic TV is among the three channels that are being investigated for rigging ratings for ad revenues and to spread fake narratives, the Mumbai police said today. Officials of Republic TV will be summoned today or tomorrow, said the officer.
Based on these ratings, advertisers pay for their advertisers. Manipulated TRP ratings adversely result in miscalculated targeted audience for the advertisers. This further results in losses of hundreds of crores of rupees because of such manipulation and fake statistics of TRP.
On a complaint, the Crime Branch nabbed a person from Malad. In the preliminary inquiry, he revealed that he had been working for a company that is a part of the Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC). One of the arrested accused persons and some of the wanted accused persons were employees of Hansa Research Group Pvt Ltd and they have misused the confidential data which had been entrusted to them. It has apparently been done for wrongful gains of various TV channels which had resulted in a wrongful loss to various advertisers and their agencies.
Preliminary investigations also revealed that these accused persons have manipulated the sampling metering services by inducing the barometer users by paying them periodically to watch particular TV channel/s. 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. An offense has been registered at Kandivali Police Station in this regard.
The arrested accused persons were produced before the Hon ACMM, where they have been remanded to Crime Branch custody till 9th October ACP Shashank Sandbhor is the Chief Investigating Officer of the case assisted by API Sachin Waze and his team of the C.L.U. under the guidance of JICP Crime Milind Bharambe, DCP Detection Nandkumar Thakur, DCP Akbar Pathan. 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. It has been revealed in the investigation carried so far that certain TV channels such as Republic, Fakt Marathi, Box Cinema etc have been indulged in such malpractices. Certain witnesses have come forward stating that they were induced by the arrested accused persons and their accomplices for a monthly monetary consideration.