A latest development in the TRP manipulation scam, Mumbai joint commissioner (crime) Milind Bharambe confirmed that in an attempt to make Republic TV No.1, BARC ratings were manipulated by its top-notch employees to push English news channel Times Now from the top slot to No.2.
Bharambe claimed that Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) audit report stated through manipulation of the ratings, Times Now was deliberately pushed to No.2 and CNN-News 18 to No.3 from the No.2 slot and made Republic TV no.1 within a week of the channel’s launch in 2017.
Bharambe was quoted saying in a Times of India report today, that the “manipulations came to light in a forensic audit by a third party at the instance of BARC in June this year, but the findings were not shared with police, which launched an investigation a few months ago and registered an FIR on October 6”.
“The auditing was done for 44 weeks in detail on English and Telugu news channels and a few entertainment channels, and it was found to be manipulated to a great extent. The TRP ratings were pre-decided and to achieve the highest TRP for particular channels, viewership date was manipulated using three methods – outlier, meta rules and channel audience control,” Barambe added, as reported by TOI.
Furthermore, Mumbai police alleged that the CEO and COO of the BARC carried out the manipulations were asked to resign and now are both in police custody.
The police also read few excerpt of the messages exchanged between different stakeholders involved in the scam. Considering it as strong pieces of evidence, the police have also submitted a chargesheet.
The ex-CEO of BARC Parth Dasgupta is the fifteenth person to be arrested in this case. Dasgupta was arrested on Thursday and remanded in police custody till December 28.