On Friday (25th December), the police said that they have found Whatsapp chats and emails between the BARC employees discussing how to push Times Now to No.2 position and make Republic TV No. 1 in terms of ratings.
While addressing the media, Joint CP Milind Bharambe said that the three methods of manipulation were “outlier, meta-rules and channel audience control.” He added, “Data was selectively analysed to show particular TRP ratings of a channel.” According to this, this was done to facilitate and bring Republic TV to the top.
The manipulations were carried out by two senior BARC officials during the period of 2016-2019. These officials who were the CEO and COO were asked to resign or face action by BARC. Both the officials quit and are currently in police custody. The police also stated that BARC had knowledge about the same but didn’t inform them. They claim that they got to know about the audit report through their sources. The messages read “Please find below numbers on English news. As required, Times Now’s numbers were changed while Republic TV was kept the same.”
Bharambe also stated that the forensic report is a strong piece of evidence and the police will be adding it in the supplementary charge sheet. The police also stated that their investigations revealed that the arrested people connived to manipulate the sampling metering services by inducing barometer users by paying them periodically to watch particular channels. The ex-CEO of BARC was arrested on Thursday and was the 15th person to be arrested in the case.