Mumbai police chief Param Bir Singh told NDTV that their investigation into TV rating manipulation by three channels which include Arnab Goswami’s Republic TV is based on a complaint filed by Hansa which is a private company involved in accessing viewership.
Earlier, on Thursday, Singh had dropped the explosive bombshell on the “TRP scandal” and stated that some news channels were manipulating their TV ratings and that even BARC (Broadcast Audience Research Council) had given evidence of rigged ratings based on the data they receive from households that have barometers installed.
“We have got evidence from BARC on suspicious patterns. We are collecting more evidence,” he told NDTV.
“Any advertising revenue made by manipulating ratings is a crime. We will investigate that. We have three months to do so,” he added.
“A suspicious trend was conveyed to us by BARC. The names of households were shared by BARC and Hansa. The households told us they were paid money to watch channels to raise TRPs,” Singh said and also denied that the Mumbai Police investigation against channels was linked to the media’s attacks on how the city’s police handled the Sushant Singh Rajput case.
According to the top cop, the households which had the barometers installed were asked to keep certain channels on at all times even when they weren’t at home.
Republic TV has strongly denied the charges. In a statement, Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami said he would sue the Mumbai Police commissioner and accused him of making false allegations.