Broadcast panel finds inflated viewership figures for three Kannada shows

Only three Kannada television programmes have serious aberrations in the viewership ratings, following attempts by a group to tamper with the data and earn more advertisement money.

Broadcast Audience Research Council (Barc) met the Central Crime Branch police on Thursday and gave a written statement, saying inflated viewership figures were found in tele serial Cauvery beamed at 7 pm on Udaya channel, and tele serial Satyam Shivam Sundaram aired at 7 pm and the show Paakashaale broadcast at 12.30 pm on Suvarna channel.

Based on the complaint from Barc, CCB police had earlier arrested tele serial producers Raju, Madhu, Suresh, Jemsy and Subhash for locating TRP panel meters with the help of an insider, replacing them and inflating the viewership ratings for certain programmes.

The embellished data would allow producers to persuade advertisers to pay more money. Raju is said to have approached producers with the offer of inflating viewership ratings for their programmes.

The police quoted Barc officials as saying the inconsistencies in TRP ratings were found for the programmes in three weeks of December. The police intend to take the statements of the programme producers and directors. They clarified that owners of the channels that broadcast the three programmes have no part in the scam.

TRP panel meters are installed in 120 residences in Bengaluru. The panels have been monitored by representatives of the Hansa Research Group. Prime accused Raju had bribed 10 of those representatives to tamper with the meters.

“This has happened only in Bengaluru,” said a Barc representative. “Weve asked the company to give us details of the houses where the panel meters are installed.”

Only three Kannada television programmes have serious aberrations in the viewership ratings, following attempts by a group to tamper with the data and earn more advertisement money.

Broadcast Audience Research Council (Barc) met the Central Crime Branch police on Thursday and gave a written statement, saying inflated viewership figures were found in tele serial Cauvery beamed at 7 pm on Udaya channel, and tele serial Satyam Shivam Sundaram aired at 7 pm and the show Paakashaale broadcast at 12.30 pm on Suvarna channel.

Based on the complaint from Barc, CCB police had earlier arrested tele serial producers Raju, Madhu, Suresh, Jemsy and Subhash for locating TRP panel meters with the help of an insider, replacing them and inflating the viewership ratings for certain programmes.

The embellished data would allow producers to persuade advertisers to pay more money. Raju is said to have approached producers with the offer of inflating viewership ratings for their programmes.

The police quoted Barc officials as saying the inconsistencies in TRP ratings were found for the programmes in three weeks of December. The police intend to take the statements of the programme producers and directors. They clarified that owners of the channels that broadcast the three programmes have no part in the scam.

TRP panel meters are installed in 120 residences in Bengaluru. The panels have been monitored by representatives of the Hansa Research Group. Prime accused Raju had bribed 10 of those representatives to tamper with the meters.

“This has happened only in Bengaluru,” said a Barc representative. “We’ve asked the company to give us details of the houses where the panel meters are installed.”

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