News7, Bflix Movies are second-time offenders of viewership malpractice: BARC

MUMBAI: Audience measurement body BARC disciplinary committee has named News7 and Bflix Movies as the second time offenders of viewership malpractice. News 7 is an Odia news channel owned by Summa Real Media while Bflix Movies is a Hindi movie channel that is part of Indirect Media.

The BARC announcement comes in the wake of action taken by Hyderabad police against individuals for alleged panel home tampering. The action was taken following an FIR filed by BARC‘s vigilance team.

BARC India had successfully filed FIR at West Marredpally Police Station, Hyderabad against the accused in Telangana. The accused were connected with two channels in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana region.

In a statement, BARC said that this is the first time that a charge sheet has been filed against the accused involved in TV rating manipulation in the state of Telangana.

During the investigation, the Police took note of influencing and tampering the viewership of BARC household where meters are installed which is used to capture and report TV ratings and thereby causing losses to the TV industry. Based on the detailed investigation, police had apprehended and interrogated the accused of their role in TV rating manipulation.

The charge sheet was filed by the investigating officer before Hon’ble Metropolitan Magistrate, Secunderabad, which prima facie makes out a case against the accused. The charge sheet states that acts of the accused are an offence under Sec 406, Sec 420 r/w Sec 34 of IPC.

Earlier, the BARC had taken a tough action against the accused involved in TV ratings (TRP) manipulation in, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Assam in 2018-2019.

Advertising is a major source of revenue for the TV industry and TV viewership data (TRP ratings) provided by BARC India acts as the currency for advertisers.

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