Recently, the channel was at the centre of a furore when the Mumbai Police Commissioner yesterday asserted that Republic TV paid households Rs 400 to Rs 500 as a part of its efforts to manipulate TRP in its favour. Mumbai Police Commissioner Prambir Singh had alleged in his press conference yesterday that some people were visiting households on behalf of the news channel and were paying them money every month. He added that Republic TV, along with other vernacular news outlets, was under the scanner for manipulating TRP ratings.
Soon after Mumbai Police Commissioner’s allegations, India Today lost its mental balance falling over itself to accuse Republic TV of indulging in manipulating viewership data. It was later revealed that complaint filed by BARC had actually named India Today TV for the crime, not Republic TV.
India Today trotted out the same allegations as levelled by Mumbai Police Commissioner, alleging Republic TV of bribing households to watch their channel. However, a cursory glance at the YouTube channels of the two news channels—Republic TV and India Today—clears out the confusion swirling around the TRP manipulation.
YouTube views of Republic TV outnumbers India Today by several thousand
At an instance during the Republic TV’s program from 12 PM to 1 PM today, about 4,300 people were watching the live feed of the news channel on YouTube. The Republic TV was running a program exposing the nexus behind smearing its name for covering uncomfortable incidents and asking protruding questions of the state government on Sushant Singh Rajput’s death, Lynching of Hindu Sadhus in Palghar and the Hathras incident.
Comparing this to India’s Today live feed on YouTube during the same time period, a paltry 597 people were watching it live. Of course, the viewership fluctuates during the show, but the vast difference between the number of people of watching Republic TV live on YouTube and those watching India Today live is a reliable barometer of the popularity of the channel, at least on the online video-sharing platform.
Perhaps, it will be interestingly to see if India Today will allege that Republic TV pays Rs 400-500 to even those who watch them on YouTube and other digital platforms.
If this is not enough, one can take a brief look at the views other Republic TV videos get on YouTube as compared to videos uploaded by India Today. Most of the recent videos uploaded by India Today has views in hundreds, with some of them racking up a few thousand views.
On the other hand, Republic TV uploaded videos on YouTube has an average of 20,000-30,000 views on each video, with the highest views of 195,000 on a video in which Arnab Goswami called out India Today’s treachery by exposing the FIR which had India Today’s name as a suspect in manipulating the TRP and not of Republic TV.
Republic TV under attack for its relentless pursuit to cover uncomfortable stories
Ever since Republic TV arrived on the Indian media landscape, it has been under relentless attack by its detractors for its loud brand of journalism and unceasing pursuit to cover uncomfortable stories. The channel has also been criticised because it is founded by Arnab Goswami, a journalist who has consistently called out the Lutyens’ Media and other politicians for their excessive deference to the Gandhi family.
A few weeks ago, a legal attack was unleashed against the channel when Arnab Goswami called out Sonia Gandhi with her maiden name for her silence on the lynching of Hindu Sadhus in Palghar. Hundreds of FIRs were filed against the channel and Editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami was put through the wringer by the Mumbai Police for several hours for simply calling Sonia Gandhi as “Antonio Maino” on his primetime show.
More recently, Republic TV was at loggerheads with the Maharashtra government, over the arbitrarily arrested by the Mumbai Police for carrying out an investigative assignment in Raigad, a district neighbouring Mumbai. Journalist Anuj Kumar, along with video journalist Yashpaljit Singh and Ola cab driver Pradeep Dilip Dhanavade were illegally taken into police custody by the Maharashtra police in September 2020, following which Arnab Goswami launched a scathing attack against the Maharashtra government, including Chief Minister Udhhav Thackeray, had demanded their release.