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Audit report confirms TRP manipulation by former BARC executives: Mumbai Police

The police have also secured email trails substantiating the findings of the audit report

NEW DELHI: Two months after the alleged TRP scam was busted by the Mumbai police, the department, in yet another sensational conference on Friday, claimed that a third party-conducted, Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC)-commissioned audit report of the ratings agency has confirmed that TRPs were manipulated under the previous management. 

The report which was received by BARC in July was handed over to the Mumbai police last week, as stated by joint commissioner of police (crime) Milind Bharambe. The report, from May 2017  to November 2019, shows that TRPs of English and Telugu news channels had been tampered with.

The forensic audit was commissioned after new management took over at BARC in January this year and received whistle blower complaints, he added. 

“BARC had received the report in July this year. The report said from a period of mid- 2017 to -November 2019 TRPs of English and Telugu news channels td. It showed that TRPs of channels like Times Now had been reduced so that Republic would appear to be no. 1 by analysing selectively,” Bharambe highlighted.

The report, he added, says that ratings appeared to have been pre-decided and accordingly data was manipulated using three methodologies: the  outlier method, meta rule and  channel audience control. It further revealed incriminating chats and emails between senior BARC officials the police said.  Times Now which was on number 1 and was shown to be at No 2, and Republic as No1.

Bharambe says that tbe BARC audit vindicates what the police has been claiming all along about Republic being involved in fixing the ratings.

Republic TV has once again rebutted the claims and called the press conference “bogus” and their claims “laughable.”

In related news, BARC former CEO Partha Dasgupta was arrested by Mumbai Police and was sent to custody till 28 December. Before Dasgupta, former BARC COO Romil Ramgarhia and Republic Media Network CEO Vikas Khanchandan were also arrested in the case. While Ramgarhia was released on Thursday, Khanchandani was granted bail on 16 December. 

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