The Crime Branch of Mumbai Police is questioning the chief executive officer of Republic TV, Vikas Khanchandani, in connection with the case for alleged rigging of television ratings, reported NDTV on Sunday (October 11).
The Mumbai Police had on Thursday said that the owners of two television channels — Fakt Marathi and Box Cinema — have been arrested in the case. It had said that an agency that tracks viewership had allegedly found Republic TV and the two channels paying viewers to increase their Television Rating Points (TRP).
Hansa Research, the agency appointed by Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) to install barometres at houses to track viewership, had alleged some of its former employees had shared information about households that are being tracked with the said channels and helped them rig the ratings.
According to Mumbai Police Commissioner Parambir Singh, the alleged rigging of ratings came to the fore during an analysis of manipulation of news trends. He said that as part of the scam, people would visit households on behalf of these channels and pay them money every month to keep them switched on.
The Republic TV has, however, denied the allegations and said they were being targeted for their coverage of the Sushant Singh Rajput death case. Republic TV head Arnab Goswami has said he will sue the Mumbai Police Commissioner for making the claim without proof.