Mumbai Police on Sunday arrested Vikas Khanchandani, CEO of Republic TV in connection with the investigation into the alleged Television Rating Points (TRP) manipulation scam. The fake TRP scam surfaced in October when ratings agency Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) filed a complaint through Hansa Research Group. It was alleged that some television channels are manipulating the TRP numbers.
Hansa is one of the BARC companies involved with panel homes or people meters. TRPs measure and record audience data in homes, which is important to attract advertisers. According to police, some of these houses were being bribed to watch Republic TV and some other channels. Republic TV, however, categorically denied the allegations.
Another employee of the channel, Ghanshyam Singh, who is the distribution head of the western region, was arrested last month in connection with the alleged TRP scam. However, he got bail this month. Police have arrested a total of 12 people in this case so far.
Meanwhile, Republic TV editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami moved the Bombay High Court last week. He filed a petition seeking stay on further investigation by the Mumbai Police in the TRP manipulation scam. The petition filed by Republic TV owner Goswami and ARG Outlayer Media also alleged that one of the company’s employees was tortured by the police during detention.