In 2017, Indian news channels Republic TV and the Zee Media Network's channels had allegedly evaded Prasar Bharati’s auction system to gain viewership on DD Free Dish.
Republic TV and Zee Media did not pay to fee-to-air DTH, neither did they bid for a slot yet reached 22 million subscribers in the country in 2017. It was the private DTH service, Dish TV, a service then owned by Zee Media, had helped them. The three companies violated norms and, as a result, cost the public exchequer more than Rs 52 crore.
The purported between Republic TV’s Arnab Goswami and former Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) CEO Partho Dasgupta from 2017 – made available by the Mumbai police in the TRP scam case brings new light to the episode, which involves the name of Olympian silver-medallist shooter and former Sports Minister Rajyavaradhan Rathore's.
The chats show that on July 7, 2017, a couple of weeks after Doordarshan wrote to the ministry of information and broadcasting about Republic TV’s involvement in the Free Dish case, Dasgupta had told Goswami: “Apparently there is some complaint about Republic in ministry – it’s yet to be referred to us – one JS [Joint Secretary] told – but I think it will never come.”
“About the dish fta [free-to-air] thing,” Goswami admits. “Rathore told me and said he’s keeping it aside.”
Goswami and Dasgupta discussing the complaint against Republic in July 2017.
Rathore (written 'rathore' in the above picture) likely refers to Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, who was then the union minister of state for information and broadcasting.
Now the controversy unveils how Rathore was involved in Republic TV's ploy. Arnab's Whatsapp text suggest, Republic's involvement had reached the ministry and minister Rathore, as the minister of state for information and broadcasting, had buried the complaint.