Regulators

The TRP fudging saga continues

Several executives questioned; Mumbai police teams fan out to other states to investigate

https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/smartcrop_800x800/public/images/tv-images/2020/10/12/tv.jpg?itok=Ckrd0xuy

NEW DELHI: The Mumbai police’s investigation into the alleged TRP manipulation fracas gathered pace over the weekend. If one were to stand outside the central police headquarters in Mumbai, it would have looked like a roll call of media hotshots was being taken.  

Amongst those to go in were Republic TV CEO Vikas Khanchandani who was interrogated for more than nine hours about the network’s involvement, something the founder Arnab Goswami has vehemently denied, stating that it was TV Today which was indulging in TRP rigging. India Today has denied any such wrongdoing.

The police had sent summons to Republic Bharat COO Harsh Bhandari;  COO- international revenue & distribution Priya Mukherjee; senior distribution executive Ghanshyam Singh, the CEO of Hansa Research Group Praveen Nijhara and another employee.  Madison founder Sam Balsara, IPG Mediabrands CEO Shashi Sinha also spent a large part of the day being questioned by the Mumbai police.

Republic TV CFO Shiva Subramaniyam Sundaram, who had also been ordered to appear before the cops, declined, stating that he would available for questioning only after 14-15 October. He also said that he had requested the law enforcers to halt the probe until the company’s writ petition against the police’s actions is heard by the Supreme Court.

Read more news on TRP Scandal

Even as this piece is being written, six teams from the Mumbai police crime branch were further investigating if the malpractice of TRP rigging was being resorted in six states. Republic TV issued a press release stating that the Mumbai police repeatedly tried to find out from its executives how the network managed to get their hands on the Hansa Research filed complaint. It said it would not reveal its sources, citing editorial privilege.

The Mumbai police stepped in to investigate the alleged scam after BARC’s people meter management vendor Hansa Research complained to it that the viewership sample had been compromised. Mumbai police chief Param Bir Singh then held a press conference, alleging that executives of three channels – Box Cinema TV, Fakt Marathi and Republic TV – gave financial inducements to members of BARC’s viewership panel to watch their shows, thus inflating their viewerships.

Senior professionals, from the first two, were arrested and are cooling their heels behind bars since the allegations were hurled on 9 October.

Goswami has all along being insisting that Republic TV’s name was not even there in the Hansa complaint, it was TV Today which was mentioned several times, he said. He has  also alleged that the Mumbai police chief is attacking his network at the insistence of the Maharashtra government for continuing to investigate the Sushant Singh Rajput “murder” and several other acts of negligence by it and the city’s law enforcers.

Over the weekend, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information Technology chaired by Congress MP Shashi Tharoor also mentioned that it will be taking up the issue. It 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.’

Earlier during the week, Mumbai Police had arrested four people including Bompalli Rao Mistry, the alleged mastermind behind the scandal. Mistry will remain in the police custody until 13 October.

Latest Reads

https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2020/10/29/mib.jpg?itok=UuMkSarz
I&B ministry announces 8th National Community Radio Awards

MUMBAI: The ministry of information and broadcasting has invited entries for the 8th National Community Radio Awards to encourage innovation and healthy competition amongst Community Radio Stations (CRSs). The ministry had instituted National Community Radio Awards in the year 2012 which were...

Regulators I&B Ministry
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2020/10/26/cinta.jpg?itok=hZIwFe9f
CINTAA welcomes move to expedite extending industry status to entertainment sector

MUMBAI:  Cine and TV Artists Association (CINTAA) has welcomed the Maharashtra government’s move to formulate a comprehensive policy for entertainment sector and expedite procedure of extending industry status. ''The decision of the Maharashtra government has come at a most appropriate time for the...

Regulators I&B Ministry
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2020/10/21/tele.jpg?itok=1ufVHaQd
NTO 2.0 case: Judgement reserved, TRAI can’t take any coercive step

The Bombay High Court bench today reserved its judgement on the NTO 2.0 case. After hearing both sides, the court has also ordered the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) not to take any coercive action against the broadcasters for non-implementation of the amended tariff order.

Regulators TRAI
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2020/10/19/trai.jpg?itok=X9WG4D-T
TRAI extends deadline to share feedback on broadband connectivity CP

KOLKATA: The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has extended the deadline for receiving comments on a consultation paper concerning “Roadmap to promote broadband connectivity and enhanced broadband speed.” The last date for submission of written comments is now 9 November. Counter-...

Regulators TRAI
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2020/10/16/fdi.jpg?itok=q9u78AnD
DPIIT issues clarification on 26% FDI in digital media

KOLKATA: While significant growth in media is coming from digital media consumption, the government amended the foreign direct investment (FDI) policy last year. As a part of the reform, it had announced an approval of  26 per cent FDI in digital media. However, there was a lack of clarity about...

Regulators I&B Ministry
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2020/10/14/js.jpg?itok=Myxzjo6-
NBF forms separate regulatory body PNBSO to oversee fair reporting

With the TV news industry finding itself in hot water over the last few weeks, the News Broadcasters Federation (NBF), an association of over 20 organisations and multiple channels, has set up a self-regulatory body named Professional News Broadcasting Standards Organisation (PNBSO).

Regulators People
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2020/10/13/4.jpg?itok=XodxYu1o
Bollywood associations & producers file legal suits against Times Now & Republic TV

The trouble surrounding the nation’s news broadcasting industry does not seem to be dying down. Last week, a few channels got embroiled in the TRP manipulation scandal, and now the Indian film fraternity appears to have joined forces against them.

Regulators High Court
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2020/10/10/shah.jpg?itok=_ku320a-
Parliamentary Standing Committee to look into TRP gaming scandal: PTI

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...

Regulators I&B Ministry
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2020/10/09/nto.jpg?itok=Us_WEWyT
MIB advises private TV channels to abide by programme code

KOLKATA: A new trend in reportage of recent incidents has put media into the spotlight for violating basic ethics. Amid the strong criticism that the industry is facing, the ministry of information and broadcasting (MIB) has issued an advisory asking all the channels to abide by the programme and...

Regulators I&B Ministry

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories

* indicates required