House panel on IT could take up ‘TRP fraud’ challenge

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |

October 10, 2020 5:41:35 am

The Shashi Tharoor-headed Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information Technology might take up the problem for dialogue. (File)

A day after Mumbai Police mentioned it had busted a “racket” of “fraudulent” manipulation of Television Rating Points (TRPs) involving three channels, there have been indications that the Shashi Tharoor-headed Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information Technology might take up the problem for dialogue.

There is “appreciable curiosity” within the committee in taking over the problem, it’s learnt. The view is that the matter falls inside the purview of the panel.

Making his view recognized, Karti Chidambaram, one of many members of the committee, has written to Tharoor asking him to take up the problem for dialogue.

On Thursday, Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh addressed a press convention claiming that the police had busted a racket indulging in fraudulent manipulation of TRPs and named three tv channels — Arnab Goswami’s Republic TV, Fakt Marathi and Box Cinema – which he mentioned have been discovered to be indulging in such malpractices.

In his letter to Tharoor on Friday, Chidambaram mentioned that “the latest points surrounding” TRPs of tv channels “have forged doubts on the legitimacy and reliability of the system”. He mentioned that the “TRPs produce important knowledge on tv audiences in India and have change into the first foundation for promoting choices”.

He talked about that the federal government’s “promoting expenditure will depend on this technique, however public spending shouldn’t be based mostly on flawed knowledge”.

“There is a necessity to grasp this case. In gentle of this, it is vital that the Standing Committee on Information Technology take up this challenge. Therefore, I request you to name earlier than the Committee involved officers of the accountable ministry, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, to hunt vital clarification on the present state of affairs and remedial measures,” Chidambaram wrote.

The subsequent assembly of the committee is on October 15. The agenda for the subsequent assembly consists of listening to the “representatives of News Broadcasters Association, Press Council of India and Prasar Bharati on the topic ‘Ethical Standards in Media Coverage’”. The News Broadcasters Association is an trade physique for tv information.

The agenda additionally consists of taking “oral proof of the representatives” of the I&B Ministry on Ethical Standards in Media Coverage.

Speaking to Times Now on Friday, Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar mentioned that the “TRP system is managed by BARC” and is a “creation of the broadcasters themselves”. He urged the broadcasters to “enhance the system” if there are any issues. “I say media shouldn’t be TRP-driven,” he mentioned.

Reacting to the Mumbai Police Commissioner’s assertion, Republic TV had mentioned that it was not named within the FIR. The FIR, it mentioned, had as an alternative named one other channel and alleged that Singh had made false allegations.

“We discovered that some channels have been paying former workers of company Hansa Research Group, which is contracted by BARC to hold out the analysis, to control TRPs of their favour. This is principally within the Mumbai area,” the Police Commissioner had mentioned. “They in flip have been paying sure households chosen for placing up BAR-o-meters.”

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