Arnab Paid Lakhs to Ex-BARC CEO To Boost TRPs: Mumbai Police
Republic TV editor Arnab Goswami had paid lakhs of rupees to BARC CEO to increase the TRPs of news channels.
Republic TV editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami had allegedly paid “lakhs of rupees” to former CEO of the Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC), Partho Dasgupta, to “increase” Television Rating Points (TRPs) of the two Republic news channels, the Mumbai Police said in a remand report submitted before a court on Monday, 28 December.
According to The Indian Express, the police told the metropolitan magistrate’s court, “...When Dasgupta was the Broadcast Audience Research Council, or BARC, CEO, Arnab Goswami and other accused in the case conspired to illegally increase the TRPs of Republic Bharat Hindi news channel and Republic TV English news channel. In order to do that, Goswami on several occasions paid Dasgupta lakhs of rupees, it has been established in the investigation.”
The journalist had reportedly met with Dasgupta several times to discuss ratings for his channels – Republic Bharat Hindi news channel and Republic TV English news channel.
During the investigation it was established that Goswami had “made payments worth lakhs in cash, including once in US dollars,” said Assistant Police Inspector Sachin Vaze to The Indian Express.
Dasgupta had allegedly used this money to procure jewellery and other expensive articles which were seized from his residence earlier this month.
The Mumbai Police's Crime Branch sought further custody of Dasgupta, claiming he was the ‘mastermind’ of the alleged TRP scam. The magistrate court extended Dasgupta's police custody till 30 December. Interestingly, Goswami and Dasgupta had worked together at Times Now.
This is the first time that the police have spelt out Goswami’s alleged role in the TRP case.
In October, the Mumbai Police registered an FIR alleging the manipulation of TRPs by TV channels – Republic TV, Box Cinemas and Fakt Marathi. In November, the police filed a charge sheet against 12 persons for allegedly tampering with the ‘BAR-o-meters’ installed at homes to measure TRPs.
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