Mumbai: Media giant Times Group on Sunday said it has sent a legal notice to Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC), alleging the TV rating agency “deliberately reduced” its English news channel’s viewership at the behest of a rival launched in 2017, and demanded compensation of Rs 450 crore.
The notice — which follows the probe by the Mumbai Police into the fake TRP case — was sent by MZM Legal LLP on behalf of Bennett, Coleman and Co (BCCL) on 11 February.
“Times Now’s viewership numbers were deliberately and in a concerted manner, reduced for giving benefit to the newly launched Channel, which has considerably and adversely impacted the revenue, growth, reputation, goodwill and image of Times Now channel and the Times Group at the national and international level,” said the notice, a copy of which was seen by PTI.
It also said that the BARC “willfully and deliberately” did not take action on the findings of a July 2020 report commissioned following whistleblower allegations about TRP (television rating points) manipulation.
When contacted, BARC declined to comment on the story.
The notice said BARC should compensate Times Group with Rs 431 crore in damages and also pay back license fees of Rs 21.83 crore which has been paid by the group till date.
The notice, which follows alleged chats between the arrested former chief executive of BARC Parto Dasgupta and Republic’s promoter and editor-in-chief Goswami, said BARC should also publish a statement stating that Times Now was the leader in the English news genre between 2017-2019.