A day after the Crime Branch of Mumbai Police arrested Partho Dasgupta, ex-CEO of rating agency Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) for his alleged involvement in the TRP scam,
Mumbai Police said the TRP manipulation was happening since 2016 and that Arnab Goswami’s Republic TV was put on the top spot by dislodging Times Now.
Addressing a press conference on Friday, Milind Bharambe, Joint CP (Crime) of Mumbai Police said an audit of BARC data had made stunning revelations about TRP manipulations.
“After the new dispensation took over at BARC, forensic audit of data was organised and the third-party audit team submitted its report in July 2020.
As per the report, the manipulations have been going on at least from 2016-2019.
The forensic team analysed data of around 44 weeks in detail, especially in the genre of English and Telugu news where they found manipulation to a great extent,”
Bharambe said, as per a report carried by jantakareporter.com. As per the forensic report, the data of 44 weeks from mid-2017 mentions how viewership and TRP data was manipulated by using three of their methodologies,
in which two channels are mentioned as per the report – Times Now was thrown to No 2 due to manipulation of data and Republic TV was put on No 1 spot.
In some cases, he added, the ratings appeared to be pre-decided, and that a cartel of some of BARC’s top ex-officials were involved.
Bharambe said that the BARC’s own findings were in line with what Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh had said in his press conference on 8 October.
Singh had named Republic TV and two smaller TV channels – Fakt Marathi and Box Cinema – as being involved in TRP manipulations.