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Hansa Research to cease services to BARC and MDL

Hansa Research got embroiled in controversy after the TRP scam broke.

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MUMBAI: Hansa Research, the third party agency which measures television rating points (TRP) for Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) and Meterology Data Pvt Ltd (MDL), has decided to withdraw its services from 30 July 2021. According to sources, Hansa and MDL have mutually agreed upon service disengagement and that MDL is well equipped in data collection and will continue to provide services without any interruption.

"We haven't heard from you for over four months though there was a sense of urgency to get our response to the RFP by 17 November, with a deadline to finalise the new vendors/contractors by 1 December 2020. We assume you have finalised the new set of vendors for managing your panel homes and that we can now be relieved of our duties," Hansa Research CEO Praveen Nijhara wrote in a letter addressed to MDL. 

Praveen asked MDL to consider the letter as a notice of withdrawal and made it clear that services from Hansa Research to BARC and MDL will end on 30 July.

Hansa Research became embroiled in controversy last year, when the Mumbai police arrested a few of its former employees in connection with the TRP manipulation case. In its chargesheet, the police alleged the Hansa ex-employees had rigged the ratings in exchange for kickbacks from certain TV channels. 

The Enforcement Directorate, too, investigated Hansa and mentioned in its chargesheet that relationship managers at the agency had induced multiple households with bar-o-meters to watch certain channels only throughout the day. BARC bar-o-meters are used to keep track of channels that are being watched most by households, and this data is used to calculate ratings. Some channels which are allegedly involved in this scam bolstered their TRPs with the help of these former Hansa Research employees to get more advertisements. 

The fake TRP scam came to light in October 2020, when ratings agency BARC filed a complaint through Hansa Research, alleging that certain television channels were rigging television ratings.

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