“India Today, and not Republic TV is mentioned in the FIR” on manipulated TRP

9th October 2020

9th October 2020

Arnab Goswami with the FIR of Nitin Deokar (inset)

The very first response has been issued by the Hansa Research Group Private Limited after the bereft attempt of Param Bir Singh, Commissioner of Mumbai police to allegedly implicate the Republic TV in a 'TRP scam' got backfired when the Republic Media network accessed the original FIR filed by the Hansa Group's Deputy General Manager, Nitin Deokar.

In the Republic Tv's research, it was found that in the FIR, the name of India Today was mentioned several times, not of Republic TV.

It is interesting to observe the pattern in which the events happened after naming Republic TV, the commissioner appeared on India Today and gave exclusives to the channel when he was supposed to be probing it.

On behalf of Hansa Research group, CEO Praveen Nijhara said,

“This is with reference to the media reports regarding Television Rating Point (TRP) ratings being manipulated. Hansa Research and BARC conducted an investigation into the matter over the last few weeks, the conclusion of which resulted in Hansa Research filing an FIR against an ex-employee who was engaged in some wrongdoing.

Hansa Research has always been vigilant about these issues and has been proactive in informing BARC and the law enforcement agencies as and when such cases have come to our notice. We would continue to cooperate with BARC and with the authorities as and when called upon to do so."

After Republic TV's accessed FIR on Thursday evening the director and editor-in-chief of Republic Media Network, Arnab Goswami said, "The Mumbai Police Commissioner has been completely and totally exposed. A copy of the FIR in the TRP case mentions India Today as the channel to be investigated. In fact, India Today has been mentioned multiple times in the FIR. There is not a single mention of Republic TV. Now, the main witness in the case has also gone on record and named India Today as the English channel for which financial compensation was allegedly provided to gain viewership. The complaint against India Today was made on October 6. Param Bir Singh closes the investigation against India Today within 16 hours and does a press conference against Republic TV. Now, that the FIR is out and the critical witness is on record, and the Mumbai Police Commissioner has been caught red-handed. He must, in the interest of morality, quit."

Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) takes the help of Hansa Research Group in maintaining and installing the Bar-O-Meter. Mumbai police arrested the Hansa Research Group's relationship manager, Vishal Bhandari. After which he revealed that some channels including India Today had offered him money and instigated him as well to panel homes the installation area of Bar-O-Meter.

According to the Deokar, panel homes get paid in money to watch certain channels so that their ratings can increase. He further revealed that in November 2019, Bhandari was asked to make 5 homes to watch the channel. India Today on daily basis for two hours by Vinay, whose details are not yet available.

According to Bhandari's confession which he made in front of the Vigilance team of BARC, Rs. 5,000 were paid to him by Vinay to pay five-panel homes. This claim was backed by the inquiry of BARC which found that 5 households were actually paid in November 2019 to watch the channel, India Today for at least 2 hours daily.

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