Arnab Goswami Paid BARC Ex-CEO to Rig Republic’s TRP: Cops

Arnab Goswami Paid BARC Ex-CEO to Rig Republic’s TRP: Cops

Republic TV editor Arnab Goswami paid lakhs of rupees to the CEO of BARC, the TV rating agency Partho Dasgupta to rig the channel's TRP since its launch in 2017, said Mumbai Police in a remand note submitted to a magistrate's court on Monday.

The police alleged that Dasgupta was the mastermind and fudged viewership numbers and data for financial gain. Police made the claims while requesting the further custody of the BARC CEO who was arrested last week in order to ascertain if more such payments were made.

The note submitted by the police said that Arnab Goswami paid bribe to Dasgupta and another senior official of BARC- former COO Romil Ramgarhia who is accused of providing secret and confidential information to certain channels to manipulate the TRP of Republic TV's English and Hindi channels.

According to a report of PTI, "Dasgupta misused his official position and manipulated TRP of specific news channels broadcast by ARG Outlier Media Pvt Ltd, such as Republic Bharat and Republic TV. Dasgupta, while serving as CEO of BARC, got involved in the conspiracy along with Arnab Goswami and others," Mumbai Police's Crime Branch said in its remand note."

The note alleged that Goswami had given Dasgupta money "from time to time", and that the former CEO, who was in that position from June 2013 to November 2019, used this money to buy expensive items that were seized from his residence in Raigad when he was arrested.

Police said that further investigations is going on, as they got custody of Dasgupta, the fifteenth person to be arrested in this case, till Wednesday.

Republic TV, which is one of three channels being investigated, has denied allegations and accused Mumbai Police of a vendetta because it questioned investigations into actor Sushant Singh Rajput's death.

The case was filed in October after Nitin Deokar, an official of Hansa Research – an agency that placed metres that record viewership data in sample households – alleged the process was manipulated.

On investigation, Mumbai Police said Republic TV – which claims the highest ratings – was tweaking ratings to get high advertising rates by bribing the households in which meters were installed. The police said they were being paid Rs 400 to Rs 500 per month to keep certain channels on.

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