On Thursday, Mumbai Police claimed to have busted a TRP manipulation racket involving Republic TV and two Marathi channels. Arnab Goswami, editor-in-chief of Republic TV, immediately accused Mumbai police chief Param Bir Singh of making false allegations because the channel had questioned him in the Sushant Singh Rajput case investigation.
Speaking to NDTV, Singh dismissed these allegations and denied that the TRP investigation was linked in any way to the Rajput case.
Singh had, on Thursday, said that Republic TV was also involved in the “false TRP” racket and that the crime branch has arrested two persons, owners of two Marathi channels, for manipulating viewership ratings.
Singh’s press conference on Thursday was greeted by Goswami’s rival channel anchors with glee, as they sought to place themselves above the alleged scam. A video of Goswami, one of the most strident anchors on Indian TV, being mobbed by reporters of other channels also went viral.
I&B minister Prakash Javadekar and BJP chief JP Nadda have accused the Congress of assaulting media freedom. A coalition government of the Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress is in power in Maharashtra.
Another police official told PTI that two former employees of Hansa agency, involved in the process to determine the TRPs, have also been arrested.
TRP is calculated on the basis of TV channel viewership in a confidential set of households and is the barometer by which companies decide where to place their advertisements. The Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) releases weekly rating points for TV channels in India and its officials are also being questioned in connection with the case, Singh said.
There are 2,000 barometers installed in Mumbai to monitor TRPs, the police chief added, and BARC gave the contract to Hansa agency for monitoring these barometers.
How the probe began
According to a press note shared by LiveLaw, the police said...