TV Channel owners and Editors worried about a CBI probe on TRP Scam?

Media barons fear their secret world will be exposed if CBI probes the TRP scam

Media barons fear their secret world will be exposed if CBI probe in TRP scam
Media barons fear their secret world will be exposed if CBI probe in TRP scam

On Saturday evening, the largest TV channel owners/ editors’ association – News Broadcasters Association (NBA) urged Government to withdraw CBI’s probe on TRP scam. Why this curious demand to withdraw the case registered by CBI, by the TV channel owners and Editors body NBA? It is simple. No TV channel wants the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to enter into the secret world of sharing of more than Rs.70,000 crores annually and the media barons fear that after CBI, next will be the turn of Income Tax into the huge revenue flow of the TV Channel industry.

Unlike the Mumbai Police’s probe on TRP scam, which is limited only to target Arnab Goswami’s Republic TV, the CBI probe has a wider scope. The Television Rating Points (TRP) scam originated a few weeks ago after the Mumbai Police announced a probe against Republic TV, accusing it of manipulations in the TRP. This is widely seen as a politically motivated case originating from the tussle between Maharashtra’s ruling coalition (Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress) and TV channel owner Arnab Goswami. Mumbai Police case is limited to the alleged bribery of homes where TV rating meter is connected and their main agenda is to fix Arnab Goswami, who for the past four months has been attacking the ruling coalition in Maharashtra.

NBA worry is that the Arnab Vs Maharashtra Government scrap has reached the hands of CBI which is having the mandate of looking into the entire TRP business and fraudulent activities in BARC for the past so many years.

Last week another case on the manipulation of TRP was registered on a general complaint in Uttar Pradesh and within days transferred to the CBI. The case is on the general issue of TRP scam, where the problem starts with all TV channels. In April 2018, PGurus have detailed this TRP (Television Rating Points) scam and the role of a private agency called BARC (Broadcast Audience Research Council) in fudging the data in two reports. The reports explained how Star TV India and other TV channels-controlled BARC was allowed by the Government to run this rating business by violating guidelines of the Information and Broadcasting Ministry and Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI)[1]. In a recent article also we have explained how to stop this unscientific and fraudulent method in TV ratings[2].

Arnab Goswami and some other channels like TV9 Group has recently exited the NBA and formed another body called the National Broadcasters Federation (NBF)[3]. But still, NBA is a big body headed by India TV owner Rajat Sharma. All major TV channels like Times Group, India Today Group, Mukesh Ambani’s Network 18, NDTV, Zee Group, ABP Group, and major regional players are part of the NBA, which shares more than 90 percent of the TV advertisement revenue of more than Rs.70,000 crores in India.

Their (NBA) worried that the Arnab Vs Maharashtra Government scrap has reached the hands of CBI which is having the mandate of looking into the entire TRP business and fraudulent activities in BARC for the past so many years. A CBI probe will lead to the revenue and books of accounts of TV channel companies and all the owners fear a possible Income Tax crackdown. This is the simple reason the NBA comes out with a curious statement of asking the Government to withdraw CBI’s First Information Report (FIR).

How can the NBA ask the Government to direct CBI to withdraw FIR? Well, if NDTV can stay on despite an I&B order to shut it down for 24 hours for proven anti-national activities, should anything come as a surprise? Do these news broadcasters have any knowledge of basic law? Once an FIR is registered, it can only be closed by the Court after satisfying the probe agency’s closure report. This is something like telecom operators asking the Government to direct to stop probe on 2G Scam or Coal miners asking the Government to stop probing the Coal Scam.

If all the books are clean, then why should the TV channel owners and Editors worry about a probe? The TV channels quarrel among themselves about the TRP which decides the share of advertisement revenue. But the NBA’s objection shows that they don’t want probe agency to enter their world of money flows. It is like the fights inside a Casino between the players and they unite when the Police lands.

References:

[1] TRP Scam: Data fudging or leakages by totally foreign companies-controlled TRP rating agency BARC?Apr 22, 2018, PGurus.com

[2] TRP Scam bursts out. How to stop fraud in TV ratings?Oct 9, 2020, PGurus.com

[3] NBF with Arnab vs Rajat Sharma’s NBA — fight is on to regulate India’s news TV channelsAug 14, 2019, The Print

13 COMMENTS

  1. How can the books be clean when India still runs on a parallel black economy? if we look back greats singers, directors, musicians, media barons all used to accept thr remunerations in Cash envelopes, till recently, we give Bharat Ratna to these people, who survived on the essence of the cash economy.

  2. Our TV Super rich TV Journos feel that they are like the then CNN’s on field popular lady reporter Amanpour who used to cover Iraq on the battlegrounds under US military attacks in the name of WMDs!
    As far as I know we have 850 media in the country! How many of them are professionals and funded by whom? 70% of our MPs and MLAs control them. Their local goons control one page local evening newspaper to blackmail poor people / local entrepreneurs/well to do persons!
    I remember late Sushma Swaraj said she intends to fund films to bring down under world film funding! She’s sent packing…….!!
    RSS/BJP intends to see Dr.S.Swamy’s back!! Dr.S.Swamy’s letter writing to PM reminds me of Nehru and Indira letter writings!!
    Since independence we have seen many small to massive scams and NPAs. Results? All crooks are living luxurious life styles much better than seven years ago! Modi hi toh mumkin hi.
    It is said buck stops at me. Since May 2014, all cases stops at PMO. It is almost dead or as Dr. S.Swamy said not so long ago “Modi is the master of ‘timings”!!
    We are witness to Modi’s timings all crooks ran away and there is a spike in high net worth crooks in India! During elections Modi ji plays red corner/ fighting in an international courts dramas on see how Modi developed closest friendship with this or that PM/ President and crooks are coming by catching next flight!!! How many landed as on date?
    Indian PM met Chinese Xi 18 times in 6 years!! See eye ball to eye ball war on cards ….may take place in Ladakh sooner than later!!
    Decision making/ Policy paralysis is more since 2014 than during pre-2014 years!! Majority of the TV channel Owners and Editors are anti-Modi so cases may be filed and all of them shall be compelled to support him during 2022/2024 elections!! Bollywood damsels will run election campaign for BJP, Cong-I and NCP!
    We should have a ministry for CBI pending cases! How many cases are pending in our Courts? Just three Crores!
    Bye the bye is CBI/NIA/ED over staffed or under staffed to close vital issues threatening our internal and external security and our economy?

  3. Lootyens media is appropriate term for these paid news channels like India Today aajtak, NDTV wore, scroll etc TRP. Their role is prominent is any news that lets the nation down. Headmasters of tukde tukde should be investigated for this scam thoroughly

  4. Only noise no action by BJP govt. Neither they are recruiting technocrats who can destroy all these malpratices through use of technology, but BJP encouraging 3rd rate bureaucrats to continue on technical topics.

  5. Your charge of bias doesn’t explain NBA’s objections to CBI probe on TRP scam. Do some labour to explain this if you are not a part of the gang against Republic channel.

  6. Step 1, CBI. Step 2, ED. Step 3, NIA. Most dangerous destroyers of India are the media mafia, creating a false narrative of their mother land guided by overseas media thugs.As VK Singh stated, they throw muck on honest people by shoot and scoot theorem. Modi, SC judge, and now R Tv are victims and evil journalists have made huge money not thru salaries, but selling information and blackmail. During 26/11 mumbai attack, channels were informing attackers the indian operation like cricket commentary.

    During the current China crisis, few anti Modi channels thru their reporters and debates are feeding info of forward areas to china. This is very dangerous. MOD should ban journalists visiting any forward areas.

    Track the assets of Journalists and their call records from 2014, we will have topics to discuss for 100 years. What is surprising is why was Smriti Irani who advocated punishment for fake news peddlers, was booted put of IB ministry ? By Jaitley, friend of NDTV ? It is time now to undress the media barons and identify who are their god fathers.Suggestion, Pgurus along with NRIs should start indian news channel, not in india but any part of world where truth prevails. This will give life to honest indian journalists.There is money for honest people in this world.

  7. Since the investigative unit called CBI comes under the PM, it’s about time all matters taken under it are called Modi probe. This can be seen from Swamy’s letter to him.
    Maybe it should be now be called the MBI !

    It’s Modi who decides in the final analysis to proceed and drop the matter.

    Naturally if you are with him you won’t be probed.

    No wonder the country has been suffering from economic and other problems. Attention deficit besides intelligence deficit.

    Maybe EVM’s should referred to as Electronic Votes for Modi.

  8. So your bias and kids continues? Uncles the NDTV 1-day ban did not happen because the government withdrew it. And the Mumbai Police case against RTV is politically motivated while your crap against NDTV is the good standard of journalism. Phew.

    • Your charge of bias doesn’t explain NBA’s objections to CBI probe on TRP scam. Do some labour to explain this if you are not a part of the gang against Republic channel.

    • lol…evidence against NDTV are accepted even by NDTV they never denied it. There is no evidence against RTV. Meme Police used India Today evidence against RTV. And this is the basis of your argument. Phew.

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