Mumbai: Sixth arrest in fake TRP case, accused used to bribe viewers to watch news channels

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The Crime Branch of the Mumbai Police has made a sixth arrest in the ‘Television Rating Point’ (TRP) scam on Friday. Officials said Umesh Mishra, a resident of Andheri, was caught by the Crime Branch team from Virar area. Umesh Mishra allegedly used to bribe those watching the news channel whose viewers have meters installed to collect viewership data.

Who are the 5 accused arrested earlier
The names of the five accused arrested earlier – Vishal Bhandari, Bompeli Rao Mistry, Shirish Satish Pattanshetty, Narayan Sharma and Vinay Tripathi. Vinay was arrested from Mirzapur in Uttar Pradesh. Vinay is a former employee of Hansa Research who worked as a relationship manager.

After talking to the officials of Hansa Research, it was found that Vinay Tripathi was giving money to Vishal Bhandari to run certain channels in the house. In the case of Vishal Bhandari, the Mumbai Crime Branch had told in remand copy through a complaint by Hansa Research Company that Vinay Tripathi used to pay Vishal Bhandari to see ‘India Today’ in people’s homes.

The alleged TRP scam was revealed when the Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) lodged a complaint with the police through the Hansa Research Group alleging that some channels were cheating TRP numbers in the greed of the advertisement.

Parliamentary committee raised questions on TRP system
A parliamentary committee said that the current system of measuring television rating point (TRP) is ‘not very scientific’ and there is a danger of manipulation. The committee was chaired by Congress MP Shashi Tharoor. The committee met to hear the views of representatives of the News Broadcasters Association (NBA), PCI and Prasar Bharati on the topic of ‘Ethics in Media Coverage’.

In response to some specific questions, the officials told the committee members that the current system of detection of TRP is “not very scientific and accurate”. The officials suggested that the current system is outdated and added to it. – There is a danger of being broken or fake. Also, it does not present the actual picture about the number of viewers as the data gathering places are very less.

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