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Opinion

TRP Tampering Case: Republic TV CEO Vikas Khanchandani Arrested in Mumbai

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Mumbai police arrested Republic TV CEO Vikas Khanchandani on Sunday in connection with their investigation into the alleged Television Rating Points (TRP) tampering scam.

The bogus TRP scam came to light in October when the Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) rating agency filed a complaint through the Hansa Research Group, alleging that certain television channels were tampering with TRP’s numbers.

Hansa is one of BARC’s suppliers that works with panel houses or people meters.

TRP, measured by recording audience data in sample households, is crucial to attracting advertisers.

According to the police, some of these homes were being bribed to tune into Republic TV and some other channels.

Republic TV has denied the wrongdoing.

Another employee of the channel, the head of distribution for the western region Ghanshyam Singh, was arrested last month in connection with the alleged scam. Bail was granted earlier this month.

Police have arrested a total of 12 people in the case so far.

Meanwhile, Republic TV editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami moved last week to the Bombay high court seeking a stay for further investigation by Mumbai police into the TRP manipulation scam.

The petition, filed by Goswami and ARG Outlier Media, owner of Republic TV, also alleged that one of the firm’s employees was tortured by police in custody.

He requested protection for all employees of the “malicious witch hunt” allegedly being carried out by the Maharashtra authorities.

Last Monday, the Supreme Court had refused to consider a guilty plea brought by ARG Outlier Media Private Limited, owner of the Republic Media network, which was seeking protection for the group and its employees in the cases brought against it in Maharashtra.

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