Mumbai police chief Paramvir Singh said the bank accounts of the channels would be investigated.
Mumbai police said today ” Republic TV is among the three channels being investigated for allegedly gaming ratings and using them to spread fake narratives and gain ad revenues”.
Republic TV’s directors and promoters are being investigated for ratings fraud. Along with two TV channel owners have been arrested.
Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh told reporters “Officials of Republic TV will be summoned, Also the accounts of Republic TV and the others could be frozen if it was established that the channels made advertising money using rigged ratings”.
He said “In the FIR, India Today was named by one of the witnesses but as of now no evidence against India Today. We are proceeding against Republic TV, Marathi channels.” “Anyone involved in the channel, no matter how much in the top, how senior, will be questioned, and if involved they will be investigated. No one, no matter how senior, will escape.”
“TRP ratings were being bought, based on these ratings they received illegal advertising funds. This will be considered proceeds of cheating” said the police chief.
In Mumbai, 2,000 barometers are installed to monitor ratings and BARC hired ‘Hansa” to monitor these. “If you see the data, poor uneducated households that don’t speak English were watching only English TV channels,” Mr Singh said.
In a statement, Arnab Goswami said he would sue the Mumbai Police commissioner and accused him of making false allegations “because we have questioned him in the Sushant Singh Rajput case investigation”. He added: “He should issue a public apology or get ready to face us in court.”
Ratings manipulation has been a familiar charge in the television industry. Central ministers have commented on it and even the Supreme Court recently criticized the race for TRPs. “The problem with the electronic media is all about TRPs, leading to more and more sensationalism that damages the reputation of people,” a judge had remarked.
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