TRP Scam

TRP SCAM- ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW!

KEY TAKEAWAYS

The Mumbai police has filed supplementary chargesheet against Republic TV CEO Vikas Khanchandani, former BARC COO RomilRamgarhia and former BARC CEO Partho Dasgupta.

The chargesheet filed has over 5000 pages, with 13 volumes included in it.

Till now, fifteen individuals have been taken into custody by the police force of Mumbai, including the chiefs of Fakt Marathi and Box Cinema Channel as well.

A bench of Justice SS Shinde and Justice MS Karnik, with Mr. Kapil Sibbal representing Mumbai Police.

TRP- WHAT IS IT?

The target rating point (TRP) (or TV rating point) is a statistic used in promotion and publicity to denote the proportion of intended demographic achieved by a project or advertisement via a communication channel. In the special case of broadcasting, a device is connected to a TV set in a few thousand households of spectators to measure impressions.

BRIEF ACCOUNT

In October 2020, top cop of Mumbai, Param Bir Singh, made a public announcement that the Mumbai Police has uncovered a scam, instigated to manipulate ratings and marketing expenditures of Republic TV and Marathi channels- Fakt Marathi and Box Cinema.

Four arrests were made then, which included a former employee of Hansa Research, Vishal Bhandari, as well as owner of Box Cinema, Narayan Sharma.

As per police reports, Hansa Research was given a contract by Broadcast Research Audience Council (BARC) for the fixation of eighteen hundred barometers in the households of Mumbai. However, Hansa Research filed a police report against certain ex-employees, claiming that they fiddled with the household ratings established in certain households.

The police further uncovered that homes which had barometers established, especially those in slums, were being paid an amount of Rs. 400 to Rs. 500 per month to keep these three channels switched on to influence the TRPs in an overwhelming manner.

Following the uncovering of this scam, Arnab Goswami accused Singh of giving rise to false claims and baseless accusations and made a hype against his character, post which the channel appealed in the Bombay High Court. Challenging the statements of Republic TV, Mumbai Police affirmed that investigations made for an alleged crime by the concerned authorities cannot be termed under the banner of violation towards Freedom of Speech.

The ratings of these channels were suspended for three months to get them to the base level as per international regulations.

RECENT DEVELOPMENTS

In its continuing inquiry in the Television Rating Points (TRP) handling scam, the Mumbai Police had reference to evidence against Republic TV in the journal of one of the suspects.

The Mumbai Police detained Vishal Ved Bhandari after having discovered, according to the investigation, that he had induced populace members where BARC barometers were mounted to watch Republic TV for a certain time every day for monetary consideration in order to boost the consumption of the said channel, which resulted in TRP exploitation.

When these dwellings were questioned by the Mumbai Police, they claimed that the alleged Vishal had paid them cash on a monthly basis to stream Republic TV. The Mumbai Police also seized the transaction messages shared between these household.

The evaluation of the Commission, which was not made public, proposed few improvements to the rules in attempts to limit the extent of the infiltration.

Union Minister Prakash Javadekar indicated that the suggestions involve increasing the proportion of devices built in households in order to achieve a clearer perception of watching.

CONCLUSION

The question of ethics and reliability creep up in a scenario like this, when the very channels from where we get a perception of the world out there, get involved in situations like the one we are discussing right now. Manipulation and materialistic gains in order to get at the top surely gets you to have an early fall and be at the bottom of the rug, sooner than later.

DO YOU THINK THE CLAIMS MADE BY MUMBAI POLICE ARE VALID? ARE MEDIA HOUSES SO MUCH ENGROSSED IN THIS RAT RACE FOR TRP? LET US KNOW IN THE COMMENTS BELOW!

 

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SHIVEK J. Online
on 13 January 2021
Published in Others
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