Regulators

Parliamentary Standing Committee to look into TRP gaming scandal: PTI

Karti Chidambaram had requested chairman Shashi Tharoor to take up the matter

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NEW DELHI: The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information Technology chaired by Congress MP Shashi Tharoor will be taking up the issue of alleged manipulation of TV Rating Points (TRP) by some channels, PTI reported citing some sources.

The committee has asked representatives of the News Broadcasters Association, Press Council of India and Prasar Bharati to depose on the subject of 'ethical standards in media coverage'.

This comes on the back of Congress MP and member of the panel Karti Chidambaram’s request to take-up the matter and call the officials of the ministry of information and broadcasting (MIB) before the committee to seek clarification and remedial measures.

He had said that the government's advertising expenditure depends on this system, and public spending should not be based on flawed data. “Flawed or manipulated TRP cannot be the basis of ad spend. TV companies also base their valuations on TRP. Those valuations are questionable now,” Karti further said.

The Congress leader’s demand that the parliamentary panel takes up the issue came a day after the Mumbai Police claimed to have busted a TRP manipulation racket and arrested four people.

"The recent issues surrounding TRPs of television channels have cast doubts on the legitimacy and reliability of the system. TRPs produce essential data on television audiences in India and have become the primary basis for advertising decisions," Karti said in a letter to panel chairman Tharoor.

"There is a need for further understanding this situation. In light of this, it is important that the standing committee take up this issue. Therefore, I request you to call before the Committee concerned officials of the responsible ministry, MIB to seek necessary clarification on the current situation and remedial measures," he said.

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