The Mumbai Police on Thursday claimed to have busted a racket that tampered with the TRP. The owners of 2 small channels have also been arrested in this case. The Mumbai Police Commissioner specifically mentioned in the press conference that there is a suspicion of manipulating the TRP by paying money on Republic TV and it is under investigation.
Republic TV, however, has dismissed the allegations leveled against it and has filed a criminal defamation case against Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh. Let us understand what TRP is, how it is measured, and its importance.
What is TRP ?
TRP stands for Television Rating Point. Through this, it is known how long people watched a TV channel or a show. This shows which channel or which show is so popular, how much people like it. This determines the popularity of which channel. The higher the TRP, the higher its popularity. Currently, BARC India (Broadcast Audience Research Council India) measures TRP. Earlier this work was done by TAM.
How TRP is measured ?
Now let us understand how TRP is measured. First of all, it is important to make it clear that TRP is not an actual but estimated figure. It is not practical to measure what is being watched in crores of homes in crores of households in the country at any particular time. Hence sampling is resorted to.
TRP measuring agencies select samples representing different parts of the country, age groups, urban and rural areas. In a few thousand houses a special device called a People's Meter is fitted.
Through the People's Meter, it is known which channel, program or show is being watched on that TV set and for how long. The agency analyzes the information received from the People's Meter and decides the TRP. Through these samples, the choice of all the viewers is estimated.
After knowing what TRP is and how it is measured, we now understand what its importance is. Actually, TRP is the measure of the popularity of a channel, program or show. The main source of revenue for TV channels is money from advertisements. Advertisers pay the highest bets on the channel which has more popularity ie TRP.
If there is more TRP, the channel will charge more for showing advertisements. If there is a low TRP, then either advertiser will not show interest in it or they will advertise at a lower price. From this, we can clearly understand that the higher the TRP, the higher the earnings of the channel.
How manipulation of TRP occurred?
Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh told in the press conference that 30,000 thousand barometers (People's Meter) have been installed at different places across the country. The installation of these meters in Mumbai was done by an organization named Hansa.
The Mumbai Police claims that some of Hansa's old workers used to go to many of the houses where the People Meters were installed, they used to tell people that you should keep your TV on for 24 hours and keep a fixed channel.
For this, he also used to give money to people. The Mumbai Police claims that the English channel was kept operational even in the homes of illiterate people.
Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh said that it is a crime, it is chitting. We are investigating to prevent this. The help of forensic experts is being sought. Further action will be taken on the basis of the accused who have been arrested. He said that two smaller channels include Fakht Marathi and Box Cinema.
Their owners have been taken in custody. A case has been registered on Hansa's complaint. Breach of trust and fraud cases have been filed. The police commissioner said that people working in Republic TV, promoters and directors have a chance of joining this 'game'. Further investigation is underway. Those who advertised would also be questioned whether there was any pressure on them.