In a statement issued by India Today regarding the claims made in the fake TRP scam, the news channel has essentially confirmed the OpIndia report on the matter and admitted that they were fined by the Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC). However, the media giant alleged that the action was taken by BARC without any concrete evidence or convening a proper judicial committee.
It further said that the India Today Group will consider appropriate legal recourse against BARC for allegedly ‘leaking’ confidential hearings. However, the news network remained silent on the reasons behind the imposition of the fine. The relevant part of the statement reads as:
“In a separate matter, BARC has fined India Today without presenting any concrete evidence or convening a proper judicial committee. The issue had been under contention with them, but since they have leaked the confidential hearings, the India Today Group will consider appropriate legal recourse to get justice”.
How OpIndia exposed India Today
OpIndia had first exposed the matter earlier in the day regarding the BARC imposing penalty of Rs 5,00,000 on India Today after they could not give a satisfactory answer to BARC Disciplinary Council (BDC) as to how their viewership was increasing. According to our sources, a show-cause notice was sent to TV Today Network and BARC regarding viewership malpractice on April 27, 2020. After the TV Today Network Limited failed to satisfy the BDC, it ruled that the channel could not satisfactorily explain the rise in their TRPs in certain geographies (Mumbai and Bangalore).
In its ruling, the BDC had termed the rise in the viewership of the channel as “abnormal” and “inexplicable”. The Council had ruled that India Today had breached section 7 of the EULA and had thereby committed viewership malpractice. As a result, a penalty of five lakhs was imposed by BARC on the channel.