Enforcement Directorate (ED) has attached properties worth Rs 32 crore of three television channels in a money laundering case connected with the Television Rating Points (TRP) manipulation scam.
The attached properties belong to Fakt Marathi, Box Cinema and Maha Movie channels and include land and commercial and residential units located in Mumbai, Indore, Delhi and Gurgaon, besides bank balance. ED may file its first chargesheet in the case against Fakt Marathi, Box Cinema and Maha Movies channels next week. The chargesheet may also mention all the other TV channels investigated in the case.
The ED alleged the three channels had generated Rs 46 crore advertisements in the last couple of years using manipulated TRP. Officials stated two of these channels— Box Cinema and Maha Movie-—had generated 25% of their total TRP in Mumbai with the help of five houses where the barometers were installed.
The third, Fakt Marathi, had generated 12 % of its total TRP from the same number of houses (with barometer).
An official stated these compromised households would keep the specified channels on all the time, helping to boost their ratings. “The TRP was calculated on the basis of the total time period a particular channel had been watched, and not according to the number of households,” he said.
Earlier, the ED had questioned a senior executive of India Today group in the case.
The agency is probing the money laundering charges based on the Mumbai police FIR in the TRP fraud. The police have filed a chargesheet in the case and are carrying out further investigations.
Police found involvement of six channels — Republic TV, Fakt Marathi, Box Cinema, News Nation, Maha Movie and Wow music channel in inflating viewership figures.
Broadcasting Audience Research Council (BARC) had given a contract to Hansa Research group to install barometers in selected households and monitor them. Times Of India