Arrested ex-CEO of BARC was 'mastermind' of fake TRP racket: police

Topics BARC | TV channels

Illustration: Ajay Mohanty

Mumbai police claimed on Friday

that former CEO of the Broadcast Research Audience Council (BARC) Parth Dasgupta played the main role in the manipulation of TRP of certain TV channels including Republic TV.

Republic Media Network, in a statement earlier in the day, said the police's allegations were laughable. The sole objective of the probe was to target Republic TV, it said.

The crime branch of Mumbai Police on Thursday nabbed 55-year-old Dasgupta in Pune district when he was heading for Pune from Goa. On Friday he was produced before a Mumbai court which sent him in police custody till December 28.

A police release on Friday described him as "mastermind" of the racket.

Interrogation of Romil Ramgarhia, a former chief operating officer of BARC who was arrested earlier, revealed that he was involved in rigging of Television Rating Points (TRP) with's Dasgupta's connivance, police said.

Dasgupta, who was BARC CEO between June 2013 to November 2019, misused his position and was instrumental in manipulation of TRP of certain TV channels including Republic Bharatand Republic TV, the release alleged.

Republic Media Network, which has already denied wrongdoing, said the police's allegations in the whole case were laughable. The investigation was a farce and its sole objective was to target Republic TV, it claimed.

BARC, which had complained to the police about alleged rigging, had said in emails in October and November that Republic TV was not involved, the media group said.

Dasgupta is the fifteenth person to be arrested in the case. Most of the accused in the case are now out on bail.

Mumbai police began the probe after the BARC, a rating agency, filed a complaint about rigging of TRP by some channels.

TRP, measured by recording viewership data at sample households, is crucial as it helps TV channels attract advertisers. It was alleged that some of these households were being bribed to tune into certain channels to ramp up their ratings.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Dear Reader,

Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.

We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel