TRP rip-off: BARC says its efforts centered on people; believes channels dedicated to scrub ecosystem

Mumbai, October 17

Hit by the fake TRP scam, TV ratings computing body Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) on Saturday said it believed channels were committed to maintaining a clean ecosystem and its efforts presently were focused on “individuals” responsible for infiltrating homes to influence the data.

The body said it was also cooperating with the probe by Mumbai Police, which has so far arrested six people for allegedly influencing particular channels’ ratings by inducing the homes which formed a part of the sample size.

“Our efforts on combating infiltration are focused on the individual(s) responsible for these activities and we firmly believe that television channels are committed to maintaining a clean and transparent ecosystem,” it said in a statement.

The city police had claimed that three channels, including Arnab Goswami-headed Republic Media Network, were allegedly influencing the TRP numbers. The Republic has denied the allegations.

According to the city police, brands take advertising calls based on TRPs and over Rs 32,000 crore of ad inventory is sold every year, which makes it think that it is a multi-crore scam. The arrested include former employees of an agency engaged by the BARC.

“BARC is providing the necessary assistance to the ongoing investigation by law enforcement agency and this should be seen in the light of larger stability of the panel and in the interests of self-regulation, rather than in isolated cases of particular channels which leads to a distortion of facts,” read the BARC statement.

It added that the body is driven by the single goal of generating ratings that its subscribers rely on which are deeply rooted in science, report with the greatest sense of responsibility and truly reflect what the country watches. PTI

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