TRP scam case: Republic TV distribution head arrested, remanded to police custody till 13 Nov

The arrest of Ghanshyam Singh, who is also assistant vice president of the Republic Media Network, takes the number of people held by the Crime Intelligence Unit (CIU) in the case to 12

Press Trust of India November 11, 2020 00:21:48 IST
TRP scam case: Republic TV distribution head arrested, remanded to police custody till 13 Nov

File image of Mumbai Police. AFP

Mumbai: Republic TV's distribution head Ghanshyam Singh was arrested on Tuesday in connection with the alleged TRP (Television Rating Points) rigging scam. He was produced before a magistrate who remanded him in police custody till 13 November.

Singh, who is also assistant vice president of the Republic Media Network, was picked up from his residence around 7.40 am, a police official said. He had been questioned by the police earlier.

His arrest took the number of people held by the Crime Intelligence Unit (CIU) of the crime branch in the case to 12.

Seeking his custody, the police told the magistrate's court that it had recovered Rs 2 lakh from Ashish Chaudhry, who is partner of Crystal Broadcast and a co-accused. Chaudhary stated that it was part of the money given to him by Singh for TRP manipulation for Republic TV, the remand application of the police claimed.

Abhishek Kolavade, another arrested accused, revealed that he used to get Rs 15 lakh a month from Ghanshyam Singh through the hawala route between January 2020 to July 2020, it said.

This money would be distributed to some households — where `barometer' is installed — as a bribe for tuning into particular channels, it said. The CIU wanted to probe these claims, the remand application said.

The fake TRP scam came to light last month when ratings agency Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) filed a complaint through Hansa Research Group, alleging that certain television channels were rigging TRP numbers.

Hansa had been tasked with installing barometers, which record viewership data (which channel has been watched and for how long) at sample households.

TRP is important as advertising revenue of channels depends on it.

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