January 8, 2021
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has issued summons to media conglomerate India Today’s Group CFO for questioning in connection with the alleged Television Rating Points (TRP) manipulation racket. A senior ED official confirmed the same and said he has been asked to appear in Mumbai.
On October 8, Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh said that they have unearthed the alleged case of TRP manipulation and several channels were alleged to have been involved in it. A special investigation team (SIT) was also set up to probe the case.
Police have so far arrested several persons, including the owners of the Fakt Marathi and Box Cinema channels, the distribution head of Republic TV and several former relationship managers of a market research company, Hansa Research Group, hired by the Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) to maintain and fetch viewership data from bar-o-meters installed at homes.
The cops say that relationship managers were paid to rig the TRPs, manipulating the sampling metering services by inducing the bar-o-meter users to watch particular TV channels and paying them periodically. People were paid Rs 400-500 monthly to watch a particular channel. About 2,000 bar-o-meters are installed in Mumbai.
There hasn’t been any response from India Today’s end to the above-mentioned matter.