From office boy to TV serial maker: how kingpin tampered with TRP to get rich

A school dropout who grew from an office boy to be assistant head in a private channel is found to be the kingpin in the Television Ratings Point (TRP) tampering case.

The Central Crime Branch police on Wednesday raided the house of Raju, who masterminded the television viewer rating manipulation, and found he had properties worth
Rs 90 crore.

They arrested Raju – who later grew to be a serial producer - along with Madhu, Suresh, Jemsy and Subhash following a complaint by the Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC).

The Council accused Raju and others of finding the location of the TRP panel meters and replacing    them with the insiders' help to manipulate the data and exaggerate viewership figures for certain programmes. Producers and channels would then use the inflated figures to demand more money from advertisers.

Raju had also approached TV producers with the offer to increase their TRP ratings. Producing serials of his own, he got rich in a decade, residing in a bungalow in Uttarahalli with wife and children and owning five plots in the city. Police are still collecting details of his property.

Earlier, Raju had contacted an insider to learn about rigging Television Audience Measurement (TAM), the machines used in gaging TRP. He later sent out his own men to do the tampering.

A senior police official said TV channel heads, producers, directors of tele-serials and reality shows approached Raju to inflate the audience viewership for their programmes to increase advertisement revenue. Some producers would air the programme only after consulting with him.

Raju inflated figures for his own serial "Cauvery" to earn lakhs of rupees in advertisements.

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