In a statement released on Sunday, Republic TV has accused the Times Now channel of a deep conspiracy that had ties to the Congress party, with the aim to deliberately malign the network's reputation. The accusations come after the Mumbai police released purported WhatsApp chat transcripts allegedly between Editor-In-Chief, Arnab Goswami and former BARC head, Partho Dasgupta in the TRP scam case.
In its statement, the channel has also pointed out that the forensics report released by BARC purportedly shows extensive TRP manipulation by Times Now, including the use of "landing pages to artificially spike its ratings, which was caught by the algorithmic, computerised process, as per the outlier policy of BARC."
"The use of landing pages and subsequent ratings spike was corrected by implementation of the Outlier Policy which caused a decrease in the rating of Times Now and was not because Republic TV manipulated ratings as had been claimed," the channel said.
"This proves the falsehoods, fabrication and distortions by a certain section of the media is a blatant attempt to target the Republic Media network," the statement reads. The channel has also reiterated its stand that the Mumbai Police is leading a witch-hunt against them by releasing unverified chats and prejudicing public opinion.
"Legally, no outrageous suggestion/request/statement made by a third party can be attributed to Mr. Arnab Goswami. The purported chats, in fact, show that Mr. Goswami ignores all inappropriate requests," the statement reads.
Republic TV has also condemned what it sees as blatant manipulation and hiding of facts by Times Now regarding the BARC forensic report, such as the identity of a leading Hindi news channel that was already found guilty of TRP manipulation.
"Which Hindi news channel was found guilty as per the BARC Forensic Report? Why is the media not reporting on all aspects dealt with in the forensic report?" asked the Republic. "Is it true that the chargesheet itself exposes the rampant landing pages by Times Now? Is it true or not that there are several complaints from the Republic Media Network to BARC about manipulation by Times Now?"
The channel has also challenged Times Now to show evidence of its financial dealings regarding landing pages from 2017-2020.