Mumbai police has confirmed that some people are manipulating the TRP .On Thursday it has busted a racket where three channels— Republic TV, Fakht Marathi and Box Cinema manipulated Television Rating Points (TRP) , and arrested four people.
There are evidences that TRP was being manipulated by bribing audiences in certain households, who were asked to switch on a particular channel to artificially increase its ratings.
Police commissioner Param Bir Singh at a press conference said TRP manipulation allowed these channels to fraudulently boost viewership numbers and attract more advertisements. Families, including those residing in slums, were paid Rs 400 to Rs 700 a month to keep these channels switched on. An illiterate person also kept English channels continuously on at home, Singh added. The police chief said the money earned through advertisements in a fraudulent manner would be considered as “proceeds of crime”.
As per BARC, suspicious trends were seen in case of Republic TV TRP, “BARC had identified some households in the city and our teams reached there for investigation. In this case, Republic TV, its directors and promoters are beneficiaries and it led to revenue loss to other channels and advertisers.”
What is TRP?
TRP or ‘Television Rating Point’ shows what percentage of a programme’s target audience viewed it. A show’s TRP increase when more people watch it.
BARC has been served notice and its officials are also being questioned. “As in all our previous cases of suspected panel homes intrusions, BARC India continues to follow its established vigilance and disciplinary guidelines. BARC remains steadfastly true to its purpose to accurately and faithfully report ‘ What India Watches’. BARC India appreciates the efforts of the Mumbai Police and will provide the support asked of it,” said a company spokesperson.
Why do channels chase TRP?
Its all about money. A show with higher TRP has a bigger audience, so advertisers are willing to pay more to advertise on it.
How are TRP’s measured?
All Industry body called BARC (Broadcast Audience Research Council) installs a device called ‘peoplemeter’ at households participating in its survey. The peoplemeter tracks the shows being watched by listening for watermarks embedded in their audio. The BARC remote has buttons assigned to each member of the house-hold. This keeps track of who is watching a show.
How many households are involved?
44,000 households spread across the country are surveyed by BARC to estimate the viewing habits of about 20 Crore households, or roughly 84 Crore viewers.
How is BARC’s data used?
Every Thursday, BARC releases data comparing the viewership of different channels and programmes, broked down by audience demographics— age, education, income etc. The number of viewers a show has and the time spent watching it from the basis for all TV channel buying and selling in the country and the advertising revenue each channel gets.