Arnab and Barc ex-CEO connived, caused Rs 431cr loss to Times Now


Arnab Goswami from Republic TV and his close tie-up  with Partho Dasgupta, former CEO of Broadcast Audience Research Council, had manipulated television rating points of Times Now channel between June 2017 and March 2018 causing a loss of Rs 431 crore to the organization, consistent with the supplementary charge-sheet filed by Mumbai Police .


The crime branch had registered a case on October 6, 2020 after the printed Audience Research Council (BARC) lodged a complaint that certain television channels were rigging TRPs through illegal means. The BARC had installed 2,000 barometers in households in Mumbai to watch TRPs during a confidential manner.


However, money was paid to households to stay their TV sets tuned to certain channels and shows to rig the ratings, that funds were provided by Goswami, the charge-sheet said.


Earlier, police had said that Times Now was the leading channel in TRP rankings, but within every week after Republic TV was launched in 2017, BARC officials had connived and brought down Times Now to the amount at number two position and CNN-18 from number two to 3rd rank.


The charge-sheet also said that Arnab paid Dasgupta huge sums and therefore the latter bought expensive items including gold and silver jewel from the funds he received for his involvement within the manipulation, the charge-sheet states.


The Mumbai crime branch named Republic TV’s Arnab Goswami, four employees of the channel and two others within the supplementary charge-sheet submitted within the 37th Metropolitan Magistrate court on Tuesday. Police have also named COO of ARG Outlier (that runs Republic TV), Priya Mukherjee, chief treasurer Shiva Sundaram, other officials Shivendra Mundherkar and Ranjit Walter and two directors of Maha Movies Amit Dave and Sanjay Verma within the charge-sheet.


The charge-sheet also states that the accused used Dual LCN, getting one channel placed on two frequencies by multi system operators  and cable operators, and manipulating channel viewership data received at BARC. Thanks to this, Republic’s TRP had risen. With Goswami’s consent, cable operators and MSOs assigned quite one channel number to Republic India Hindi news and Republic TV English news, thus violating the norms of the Telecom regulatory agency of India.