The Republic TV TRP scam was a major scandal that rocked the Indian media industry in 2020. The scam involved the alleged manipulation of television rating points (TRPs) by Republic TV, a right-wing news channel owned by Arnab Goswami.
How is TRP measured:
TRP, or Television Rating Point, is a measure of the popularity of a television channel or program in a given region or demographic. It is calculated by measuring the viewership of a particular channel or program over a period of time, usually a week. The more viewers a channel or program has, the higher is its TRP rating. TRP ratings are used by broadcasters and advertisers to determine the popularity of different TV channels and programs and to set advertising rates.
TRP is measured using a device called a people meter. People meters are installed in a representative sample of homes in a given region. The people meter records the channel or program that is being watched by the members of the household. The data collected from the people meters is then used to calculate the TRP ratings for different channels and programs.
There are two main methods used to measure TRP:
- People meters: People meters are installed in a representative sample of homes in a given region. The people meter records the channel or program that is being watched by the members of the household. The data collected from the people meters is then used to calculate the TRP ratings for different channels and programs.
- Picture matching: Picture matching is a newer method of measuring TRP that is being used in some countries. In picture matching, the people meter records a small portion of the picture that is being watched on the television set. This data is then collected from the sample homes and used to calculate the TRP ratings on a national scale.
TRP ratings are an important tool for broadcasters and advertisers. They help broadcasters to determine which channels and programs are popular with viewers. This information can then be used to make decisions about programming and advertising. Advertisers also use TRP ratings to determine where to place their ads. They want to place their ads on channels and programs that are popular with their target audience.
Allegations Against Republic TV:
In October 2020, the Mumbai Police arrested several people, including employees of Republic TV and the ratings agency BARC India, for allegedly manipulating TRPs. The police alleged that Republic TV had paid people to watch the channel in order to inflate its TRPs.
Republic TV denied the allegations and accused the Mumbai Police of being politically motivated. The channel also filed a case in the Supreme Court seeking to quash the FIR filed against it by the Mumbai Police.
In September 2022, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) filed a chargesheet in the Republic TV TRP scam case. The ED chargesheet cleared Republic TV of any wrongdoing. However, the chargesheet did allege that some other news channels had manipulated their TRPs.
The Republic TV TRP scam has raised serious questions about the credibility of TRPs in India. It has also highlighted the need for greater transparency in the way that TRPs are measured.
Evidences of Republic TV TRP Scam:
The Mumbai Police alleged that Republic TV had paid people to watch the channel in order to inflate its TRPs. The police cited a number of evidences to support this allegation, including:
- Confessions of arrested accused: The police alleged that some of the accused arrested in the case had confessed to being paid by Republic TV to watch the channel.
- Bank account statements: The police alleged that the bank account statements of some of the accused showed that they had received payments from Republic TV.
- WhatsApp chats: The police alleged that they had recovered WhatsApp chats between some of the accused and Republic TV employees which showed that they were discussing payments for watching the channel.
- Witness statements: The police alleged that they had recorded the statements of witnesses who claimed to have seen people being paid to watch Republic TV.
The police also alleged that Republic TV had used a network of middlemen to recruit people to watch the channel. The middlemen would allegedly identify people who were willing to watch Republic TV and then pay them to do so.
Impact of the Republic TV TRP Scam
The Republic TV TRP scam has had a significant impact on the Indian media industry. It has damaged the credibility of TRPs and raised questions about the ethics of some news channels.
The scam has also led to a loss of trust in the media among the general public. A recent survey found that only 30% of Indians trust the media. This is a significant decline from 50% just a few years ago.
The Republic TV TRP scam has also had a financial impact on the media industry. Advertisers are now more cautious about where they place their ads. This has led to a decline in advertising revenue for many news channels.
The Republic TV TRP scam is a serious matter that has damaged the Indian media industry. It is important to investigate the scam thoroughly and to bring those responsible to justice. It is also important to take steps to improve the transparency and credibility of TRPs in India.
The Republic TV TRP scam is a reminder of the importance of a free and independent media. The media plays a vital role in holding the powerful accountable and in informing the public. However, the media can only be effective if it is credible and trustworthy.
The Republic TV TRP scam has damaged the credibility of the Indian media industry. It is important to restore public trust in the media by investigating the scam thoroughly and by taking steps to improve the transparency and credibility of TRPs.
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