New Delhi: A Television Rating Points (TRP) manipulation racket was busted in Mumbai on October 7. The Mumbai Police came out with a startling revelation that two former employees of Hansa, which is responsible for the maintenance of over 3000 parameters across the country, including around 2000 in Mumbai, allegedly tampered with the TRP data.
The Hansa agency is associated with the Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC), which calculates the TRP.
TRP is a tool to judge which TV programmes are viewed the most and also indicates the viewers’ choice and popularity of a particular channel.
The Mumbai Police had found three channels including, Republic TV, and two Marathi channels — Box Cinema and Fakt Marathi, allegedly guilty of rigging TRPs. Former Hansa staff had allegedly misused the data and paid the sample houses, where barometers were installed to monitor ratings, to watch certain TV channels.
Earlier, the Mumbai Police had arrested Republic TV CEO Vikas Khanchandani in the alleged TRP manipulation case, but he was later granted bail.
In the TRP scam case, former BARC CEO Partho Dasgupta, who was arrested from Pune on December 24, sent to judicial custody for 14 days by Esplanade court.
Last month, the Centre had constituted a four-member committee, headed by Prasar Bharati CEO Shashi S Vempati, to review the guidelines on television rating agencies in India, asking the panel to submit its report to the Information and Broadcasting minister within two months. It said that there is a need to have a fresh look at the guidelines particularly “keeping in view the recent recommendations of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, technological advancements/inventions to address the system and further strengthening of the procedures for a credible and transparent rating system.”
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