Report on Shemaroo

TRP scam: Times Now claims BARC fudged its ratings, sends legal notice

The channel demands Rs 431 in compensation from the ratings agency.

NEW DELHI: Bennet Coleman and Company has sent a legal notice to the Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) alleging illegal and fraudulent viewership data manipulation, and tampering of television rating points (TRP) of its English news channel Times Now.

The company has also sought for a compensation of over Rs 400 crore for the same. The notice alleged that the ratings of the channel were deliberately manipulated 2017 onwards to give benefit to a "newly launched channel."

The legal notice placed reliance on external forensic audit reports dated 24 July 2020 and 1 December 2020, and findings of the Mumbai police chargesheet in the TRP scam case and the press conference in relation to the investigation.

It stated that the forensic audit report of July 2020 furnished by BARC had made it evidently clear that "activities resulting in viewership malpractices and TRP manipulation were undertaken by BARC with a malafide intention to biasedly cause wrongful losses to some of its subscribers whilst other co-conspiring subscribers benefitted of the malicious acts."

"Times Now is operating in India for over 15 years and is popular amongst its viewers and advertisers due to good programming content, packaging and provision of timely news updates with a very wide reach throughout the country with honest and fearless reporting," the notice contended.

The legal notice, a copy of which is available with, stated that as per BARC's viewership data spanning 44 weeks during 2017-2018 submitted to the Mumbai police, Times Now was number one and its viewership was "manipulated, fudged for giving undue benefit to a newly launched competitor channel in 2017." This alleged manipulation has "considerably and adversely impacted the revenue, growth, reputation, goodwill and image of Times now channel and the Times Group at the national and international level."

It also alleged that even after realising this gross misreporting of an entire genre for a protracted period, BARC kept the matter under wraps and took no concrete action against the perpetrators.

The channel further contended that by providing wrong data for years together, even after receiving a huge licensing fee from Times Now, BARC is in complete breach of all obligations, under the EULAs, MIB guidelines and its own regulations.

In view of this, the notice stated, "BARC is not only liable for civil action to be initiated against them, but it is also liable to be prosecuted for serious cognisable criminal offenses of cheating, criminal breach of trust, forgery, causing disappearance of evidence, harbouring offender and criminal conspiracy."

Apart from the compensation of Rs 431 crores along with the license fee of Rs 21.83 crores with interest at the rate of 18 per cent per annum, it also sought a press statement on BARC's website to immediately clarify that as per its viewership data, "Times Now was the number one channel and undisputed leader in English news genre from 2017-2019."

It also sought a disciplinary action against the errant broadcasters/channels and BARC officials who were allegedly involved in the fraudulent activities mentioned in the notice.

Latest Reads
Republic TV expands its footprint in UK with DistroTV

Mumbai : English news channel Republic TV is pivoting to digital, OTT and smart TV distribution with the latest addition of DistroTV to cater to the diaspora in the United Kingdom market.

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
Zee Kannada to air new show Krishna Sundari from 17 May

Mumbai: Popular Kannada channel Zee Kannada is all set to launch its new dubbed fiction show titled Krishna Sundari on 17 May. The new show will be aired on the channel at 07.00 PM daily. Krishna Sundari is the Kannada dubbed version of the Telugu serial Krishna Tulasi starring Aishwarya H and...

Television TV Channels Regional
Planet Marathi completes four years, set to launch two new films

Mumbai: Marathi digital platform Planet Marathi has completed four years in the industry. Formed by Akshay Bardapurkar in 2017, the platform has attempted to reinvent Marathi entertainment with Planet Marathi Production, Planet Marathi OTT, and Planet Talent.

Television TV Channels Regional
Times Group chairman Indu Jain succumbs to Covid

Times Group chairman Indu Jain passed away on Thursday night due to Covid-related complications. She was 84. The group owns the Times of India and other newspapers.

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
Colors Tamil brings world television premiere of Nayanthara's crime thriller

Colors Tamil, the youngest GEC in Tamil Nadu is all set to bring the world television premiere of Nee Enge En Anba, a crime thriller that stars Nayanthara in the lead roles. The movie will be premiered in Colors Tamil as a part of its Movie of the Month segment on 16 May at 02.00 PM, and a repeat...

Television TV Channels Regional
FMCG ad volumes show record growth amid pandemic threat

In a piece of good news for the television industry amid these pandemic times, ad volumes for the FMCG sector in April witnessed a record growth, said Broadcast Audiences Research Council (BARC).  According to BARC data released on Thursday, ad volumes for FMCG grew by 166 per cent and 42 per cent...

Television TV Channels Viewership
Zee Telugu celebrates 16th anniversary with Zee Mahotsavam

KERALA: Zee Telugu has completed 16 years in the industry. The channel began its journey on 18 May 2005, and since its inception, it has been curating compelling content that matches the tastes and preferences of a varied palette of viewers and has carved a special place in the hearts of Telugu...

Television TV Channels Regional
Republic fights second Covid wave with ‘Stay Strong India’

NEW DELHI: Since the onset of the second wave of Covid-19, Republic Media Network has dedicated 100 per cent of its programming on the nation’s fight against Covid. Republic’s #StayStrongIndia campaign has become a viral chorus across the globe, a worldwide expression of solidarity, a symbol of...

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
Covid aid: Zee Bangla Cinema says ‘we’re there for you’ with

NEW DELHI: Zee Bangla Cinema, in association with its digital partner Mind and Matter, has launched a website named Amra Achhi ( which means 'We are there' to provide all Covid-related help to people in West Bengal.  The website is a one-stop destination for all information related to...

Television TV Channels Regional

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories

* indicates required