Arnab paid $12,000, Rs. 40 lakh to fix ratings, says ex-BARC CEO Dasgupta

Mumbai: Republic TV Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami paid US$12,000 for two separate holidays and a total of Rs 40 lakh over three years, in return for manipulating ratings to favour his news channel, said Partho Dasgupta, former CEO of Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) India, in a written statement to the Mumbai Police on Sunday.

The statement was included in the supplementary charge sheet filed by the Mumbai police.

“Even before launching Republic TV he would talk to me about plans for the launch and indirectly hint at helping him to get good ratings to his channel. Goswami knew very well that I know how the TRP system works. He also alluded to helping me out in the future,” Dasgupta wrote in his statement.

Dasgupta agreed that he worked to ensure manipulation of TRP ratings that made Republic TV get the number 1 rating. “Towards this, in 2017 Arnab Goswami had personally met me at St Regis hotel, Lower Parel and given me 6000 dollars cash for my France and Switzerland family trip…also in 2019 Arnab Goswami had personally met me at St Regis and given me 6000 dollars for my Sweden and Denmark family trip. Also in 2017, Goswami had personally met me at ITC Parel hotel and given me Rs 20 lakh cash… also in 2018 and 2019… Goswami met me at ITC hotel Parel and gave me Rs 10 lakhs each time,” he wrote.

The Mumbai police filed a 3,600-page supplementary charge sheet in the television rating points (TRP) case on January 11, which includes a BARC forensic audit report, WhatsApp chats purportedly between Dasgupta and Goswami, and statements of 59 persons, including former council employees and cable operators, the Indian Express reported.