Mumbai police commissioner Param Bir Singh has in a media brief said that the Mumbai police have been alerted about a new racket involving false television rating points (TRP). He said that three channels, including Republic TV and two other Marathi channels- Fakt Marathi and Box Cinema have been reportedly involved in distorting the apparatus used by BARC to rate television channels. The commissioner said that arrests have also been made in this regard.
According to reports, the Republic TV’s bank accounts are under scanner and the Mumbai police will soon be summoning Republic TV’s promoters and directors, including Arnab Goswami for questioning in regards to this case.
Parambir Singh went on to add that owners of Marathi channels Fakt Marathi and Box Cinema have been arrested. Arrests were made under sections 409 and 420 of IPC. Param Bir Singh also claimed that BARC has submitted that Republic TV is a suspect in TRP manipulation.
To measure TRPs, BARC has installed 2000 barometers in Mumbai to monitor TRPs which is strictly confidential.
The confidential contract was given to a company called Hansa Research which has filed the complaint against some former employees who misused the data on households where the TRP monitoring systems are installed.
The commissioner alleged that the “accused” would ask some households to keep some channels on even if they were not at home. The TRP is calculated on the basis of TV channel viewership in a set of households. The accused would bribe some households and ask them to run some channels at their home, claimed the Mumbai commissioner.
Arnab Goswami and Republic TV bag 77% viewership for primetime
This media brief by the Mumbai police commissioner curiously comes at a time when Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) announced that Arnab Goswami’s Republic TV has become the most-watched news channel in India.
According to the latest BARC data, Republic TV had hit an altogether new peak with a market share of 52.65 per cent. Republic TV’s sister channel Republic Bharat had beaten established players in the sector like Aaj Tak, India TV, NDTV India etc. to become the most watch Hindi news channel in India.
The Republic TV market share for the 9 pm slot is whopping 77.18%, which means almost four-fifth of the English News viewers watched the Arnab Goswami’s famous panel discussion program at 9 pm. Republic Bharat is also in the top position for the 9 pm slot.
While both the news channels of the Republic network are way ahead of the competition, the difference between Arnab Goswami and the other top anchor seems to be even wider. According to the latest BARC data for the 9 PM slot, which is the prime time for News Channels with shows hosted by their topmost anchors, Republic TV’s viewership is much more than the other English News channels.