National News

TRP Scam: Mumbai Police Say Former BARC CEO Was ‘Mastermind’

Mumbai/Pune: The Mumbai Police on Friday asserted that ex-BARC CEO Partho Dasgupta – who was arrested on Thursday – was the ‘mastermind’ of the alleged multi-crore rupees TRP rip-off, unearthed final October.

Addressing the media, Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh and different officers stated that the previous CEO of Broadcast Viewers Analysis Council (BARC) had allegedly conspired to spice up the scores of 1 new channel by decreasing the viewership of its rival channels.

The 15th particular person to be arrested thus far within the sensational TRP rip-off, Dasgupta was nabbed by the Pune Police on Thursday and produced earlier than a Mumbai Court docket (on Friday) which remanded him to police custody until Dec. 28.

Singh stated {that a} forensic audit report has introduced forth some emails and chats between former high officers, and certainly one of them reads: “Please find below an update on English News Channels for week (___), TimesNow, CNN-News18 will be changed.”

“During his (Dasgupta’s) tenure as CEO, there were reportedly quite a few allegations about manipulation of viewership data and also TRPs, and those allegations by different owners or even whistleblowers were suppressed,” stated Singh.

Later, when a brand new dispensation took cost in BARC, an exterior forensic audit of information was carried out and it submitted its report in July 2020, and the identical was handed over to the Mumbai Police as per its necessities.

The information of round 44 weeks or practically 10 months was minutely analysed, notably within the English and Telugu style information channels, the place large-scale manipulations have been detected, and using totally different methodologies.

In response to the report, in some instances, the (TRP) scores gave the impression to be pre-decided and there was cartelisation of some high-ranking ex-BARC officers.

Previous to Dasgupta’s arrest, the Mumbai Police had nabbed former COO of BARC Romil Ramgarhia and Republic TV CEO Vikas Khanchandani, who’re each now enlarged on bail.

Reacting to the Mumbai Police revelations, a BARC official stated that the event pertains to ex-employees of BARC India as a part of an ongoing investigation during which the company is extending its assist and cooperation to the regulation enforcement authorities.

The BARC official added: “Every employee of BARC India is expected to conform to a Code of Conduct and Ethics and any infringement invites suitable disciplinary action. We will continue to ensure that what India watches is reported accurately and with utmost integrity. It is a responsibility we owe all our stakeholders.”

(With IANS Inputs)

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