FakeTPR Racket: In a press conference held on Thursday, Mumbai Police Commissioner, Param Bir Singh told reporters that the city police are probing a scam involving manipulation of TRPs. He identified three channels, Republic-TV and two Local Channels of Maharashtra, which are reportedly involved in distorting the apparatus used by BARC to rate television channels. BARC has 2,000 barometers installed in Mumbai to monitor TRPs. BARC has given confidential contract for monitoring these barometers.

Accused would ask some households to keep some channels on even if they were not at home. The TRP is calculated on the basis of TV channel viewership in a set of households. The accused would bribe some households and ask them to run some channels at their home.

Two people were arrested, produced in court and the Mumbai Police have got their custody. One accused has been arrested with Rs 20 lakhs seized while Rs 8.5 lakhs has been found in a bank locker, Commissioner Param Bir Singh said.

He went on to add that owners of Marathi channels Fakt Marathi and Box Cinema have been arrested. Arrests were made under sections 409 and 420 of IPC.

BARC has submitted that Republic TV is a suspect in TRP manipulation, the Mumbai Police Commissioner said.

Police received the data of these households from BARC, the rating agency

We suspect that if this was happening in Mumbai then it could be happening in other parts of the country as well

ACP Shashank of Crime Branch’s CIU is leading the investigation and DCP and JCP are supervising the investigation.

Republic TV promoters and directors will be summoned and questioned by the Police.

More details await.

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