Sunday, March 7, 2021
Home Media India Today was held guilty of viewership malpractice after show-cause notice, was asked to...

India Today was held guilty of viewership malpractice after show-cause notice, was asked to pay Rs 5,00,000 fine to BARC: Exclusive details

Since it was the first offence of India Today, they were left with a warning and their license was not cancelled, however, TV Today Network Limited was made to pay Rs 5,00,000 penalty to BARC.

The TRP ‘scam’ issue took an interesting turn yesterday when, after the Mumbai Police Commissioner alleged that Republic TV was involved in the TRP scam, the FIR which mentioned not Republic TV but India Today surfaced. Thereafter, a conversation between a Republic TV journalist and one of the prime witnesses in the case surfaced where the witness had admitted that her son was asked to watch India Today to illegally increase their TRP.

India Today went on overdrive trying to shield itself after they had made a fool of themselves and gone hammer and tongs against Republic TV and Arnab Goswami following the press conference by Mumbai Police Commissioner Parambir Singh. They lied and twisted the statement of the very witness who had indicted India Today to exonerate themselves and implicate Republic TV. However, their lies were summarily exposed by OpIndia.

Now, our sources have informed us that India Today was asked to pay a fine of Rs 5,00,000 after their explanation did not satisfactorily explain the increase in India Today viewership by the BARC Disciplinary Council.

A show-cause notice was sent to TV Today Network Ltd and BARC regarding viewership malpractice on 27th April 2020, according to our sources. The response by TV Today Network Limited, who is a subscriber of BARC, was not found satisfactory by the BARC Disciplinary Council and the BDC had ruled that the response by India Today “does not satisfactorily explain the buoyancy of India Today channel, in particular, geographies (Mumbai and Bangalore)”.

Further, the BARC Disciplinary Council had ruled that “the statistical data provided by BARC Measurement Science Team showed an abnormal and inexplicable 􏰇􏰉increase in viewership”. Continuing in their order BDC said, “furthermore subscribers reply and/or representations do not provide satisfactorily explain the abnormal increase in the viewership”. Here, subscriber means India Today that had responded to the show-cause notice furnished to them and BARC by BARC Disciplinary Council.

What followed in the order was even more startling.

The order further said:

In view of the above, the Council is satisfied that the Subscriber has breached the provisions of Section 7 of the EULA and has committed Viewership Malpractice as more particularly alleged in the Show Cause Notice as well as the Report submitted by the BARC Vigilance team. Thus, as per clause 14(a) of CCRVM, this being the first offence of the Subscriber, therefore the Council is satisfied that in the present case, a warning be issued to the Subscriber and the Subscriber shall also pay a penalty of Rs. [5],00,000/- (Rupees [Five] Lakhs only) to BARC.

BARC had made their End User License Agreement extremely stringent for channels (subscribers) and any viewership malpractice is dealt with seriously.

According to the order passed, the BARC Disciplinary Council had held that TV Today Limited (India Today) had breached Section 7 of the End User License Agreement and committed viewership malpractice which was alleged in the show-cause notice as well as the report submitted by BARC Vigilence Team.

Since it was the first offence of India Today, they were left with a warning and their license was not cancelled, however, TV Today Network Limited was asked to pay Rs 5,00,000 penalty to BARC.

Interestingly, this order was issued was on the 31st of July, however, the fine of Rs 5,00,000 has not been paid yet by India Today. It is possible that India Today has appealed against the order, however, OpIndia could not confirm that details.

In light of this, it is obvious that India Today would not be oblivious about the fine that they themselves had paid for viewership malpractice and was held guilty of it by the BARC Disciplinary Council of a TRP scam. Knowing fully well that India Today itself was indicted for malpractice, it is inexplicable why India Today went after Republic TV after Mumbai Police was found falsely implicating Arnab Goswami. In fact, even the FIR that was filed, which surfaced later, had mentioned only India Today and had no mention of Republic TV.

It would appear that India Today’s dwindling TRP after Republic TV garnered the lion’s share of viewership has pushed the channel and its journalists like Rahul Kanwal, Rajdeep Sardesai etc to indulge in chicanery without realising that in the age of social media and digital platforms, the wings of lies are clipped rather efficiently.

OpIndia reached out to Rahul Kanwal to seek his comments on the show-cause notice and India Today’s indictment by BARC Disciplinary Council, however, we are yet to receive a response from him. If Mr Kanwal chooses to respond to our query, we will update this article with his response.

  Support Us  

Whether NDTV or 'The Wire', they never have to worry about funds. In name of saving democracy, they get money from various sources. We need your support to fight them. Please contribute whatever you can afford

Nupur J Sharma
Editor, since October 2017

Related Articles

Trending now

PM Modi addresses massive rally at Kolkata’s iconic Brigade ground. Watch

Just hours back, veteran actor Mithun Chakravarty joined the BJP at the Brigade ground where PM Modi will address the rally.

As Mithun Chakravarty joins BJP, memes of his cult film ‘Gunda’ and others flood the internet

Indian Twitterspace and Mithun fans have gone wild sharing his cult dialogues and fight scenes as he joined the BJP ahead of PM Modi's Kolkata rally.

Mithun Chakraborty joins BJP at Brigade Parade Ground in Kolkata ahead of PM Modi addresses a massive rally

More than 28 Trinamool MLAs who missed out on party tickets are also expected to be present at the PM Modi's rally in Kolkata

Shekhar Gupta admits that he has been scared to criticise Rahul Gandhi and Congress, Congress leaders prove him right

Shekhar Gupta criticised the Congress party and Rahul Gandhi for failing to put enough pressure on the Modi government

Ambani Bomb Scare: When Anil Ambani’s helicopter was sabotaged in 2009 followed by mysterious death of chopper mechanic

Technician Bharat Borge, who found pebbles in fuel tank of Anil Ambani's helicopter was found dead just few days later.

Dolce & Gabbana sues fashion bloggers Diet Prada over #DGLovesChina campaign which sparked racism controversy

2018 #DGLovesChina ad campaign by Dolce & Gabbana had sparked racism controversy over alleged stereotypical portrayal of Chinese woman

Recently Popular

Kiren Rijiju gives befitting reply to ‘befitting reply queen’ Taapsee Pannu’s boyfriend, who wanted the law to bend to his whims

Matthias Boe, boyfriend of actress Taapsee Pannu, had appealed to Kiren Rijiju to 'do something' to help the actress.

After IT raids, Taapsee Pannu suffers a meltdown and admits that she was questioned about cash receipts of Rs 5 crores

Taapsee Pannu attempted to take a sly at Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman for simply clarifying the facts about the raids

‘Does money in Bollywood come from Ganga?’: Shiv Sena mouthpiece claims Taapsee Pannu, Anurag Kashyap targeted for supporting ‘farmer protests’

The Saamana editorial asked why only Taapsee Pannu and Anurag Kashyap were targeted and not other Bollywood celebrities.

Indian Govt should ask badminton coach and Taapsee Pannu’s boyfriend Mathias Boe to quietly do his job or quit

Mathias Boe had tweeted tagging Minister Kiren Rijiju, asking him to do 'something' about the IT raids on his girlfriend Taapsee Pannu

Violence in Bengal, election rigging, misgiving of Congress, Abbas Siddiqui, COVID-19 and China: CPI (M) leader Rabin Deb talks to OpIndia

Rabin Deb, one of the tallest leaders in West Bengal of the CPI (M) talks to OpIndia ahead of the 2021 elections, TMC and BJP

All you need to know about Elon Musk’s Starlink, which has begun pre-booking in India

Currently, Elon Musk's SpaceX, of which Starlink is a venture, has already sent 1000 such satellites to the Earth's orbit. In the future, the company plans to expand the number to a network of 12,000 satellites.
- Advertisement -


Connect with us