The Mumbai Police on Thursday claimed to have busted a “scam” where TRPs of certain channels, including Republic TV, were being illegally increased. The police said they have arrested owners of two such channels and have sent a notice to Republic TV, reported The Indian Express on Thursday.
The Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC), which measures TRPs, has installed over 2,000 barometers in Mumbai for measuring the data. The locations where these barometers are installed are confidential.
“During investigation, we found that ex-employees of the firm that BARC has contracted for installing these barometers were influencing it,” Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh said.
Singh said these they used to ask people to keep particular channels on. He added that there were deals with some people who didn’t know English to keep English channels on.
Certain news channels such as Republic, Fakt Marathi, and Box Cinema are under the scanner. “Owners of two news channels have been arrested already. Summons have been sent to Republic news channel,” Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh said.
The police further said that ads earned by channels using these spiked TRPs will be considered as proceeds of crime.
Republic TV soon put out a statement, saying it will file criminal defamation case against the Mumbai Police Commissioner. “Republic will fight back, Republic will continue its investigation into the Sushant Singh Rajput’s case, the Palghar case and any other case,” the statement read.