After the Mumbai Police introduced an investigation towards Republic TV and two extra channels for manipulation of rankings, a person whose house had a “people meter” to test viewership has revealed that he had acquired month-to-month funds to observe sure channels.
The man, one of many three witnesses that the police say had been bribed by the channels, additionally mentioned he was advised that the meter put in at his house would handle his payments and routinely recharge his DTH platform.
“The executive from Bar-o-meter told me to watch Box Cinema (one of the three channels under investigation). He said I should watch the channel from 2 pm to 4 pm and I would be paid Rs 500,” the viewer advised NDTV.
He mentioned he did it for 2 to a few years and by no means realized that it may very well be linked to fudging TRPs or Television Rating Points.
He stopped when he needed to go to his village. “I was away and my TV was shut. I told them I am not watching TV anymore,” he mentioned.
Four individuals have been arrested, together with the homeowners of Box Channel and Fakt Marathi. They had been despatched to judicial custody as we speak.
The administrators and promoters of Republic TV are being investigated, based on Mumbai police chief Param Bir Singh.
The “people meters” connected to TV units measure the rankings. In Mumbai, there are 2,000 households which have these meters put in for the aim of assessing the viewership of varied channels.
The data drawn from these meters is supposed to be secret.
Ratings company BARC (Broadcast Audience Research Council) employed the personal company Hansa to put in the meters.
The Mumbai Police chief mentioned Hansa had complained concerning the rigging of TV rankings. It was discovered that knowledge was shared with the media corporations, who allegedly bribed households to maintain their channels on even after they weren’t watching them.
Mr Singh mentioned BARC in addition to Hansa had shared proof that the channels had bribed some households as a way to enhance rankings.
Republic TV has strongly refuted the allegations and accused the Mumbai Police of vendetta as a result of it had raised questions on the Sushant Singh Rajput investigation.
“The complaint was lodged by independent agency Hansa, not us. Suspicious trends were noticed by them, not us. They noticed suspicious trends of ratings or certain channels. They shared details of discrepancies,” the police chief advised NDTV.
“We have called three witnesses who were paid money to watch a particular channel,” he mentioned.
The Mumbai Police First Information Report additionally names India Today, however Mr Singh advised NDTV, “In the FIR, India Today was named by one of the witnesses. But as the probe progressed neither BARC, nor witnesses, nor accused named India Today. All named Republic TV, Marathi channels. As of now no evidence against India Today. We are proceeding against Republic TV, Marathi channels.”
Republic TV’s Arnab Goswami mentioned there’s “not a single BARC report that mentioned Republic TV”. “The people of India know the truth. BARC has not mentioned republic in any complaint,” he added.