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Tuesday Sep 08, 2015

Express Group accused of ratings manipulation

LAHORE: Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Salman Danish, of a television ratings company in Pakistan called ‘Medialogic’ claimed on Tuesday that two TV channels of the ‘Express Group’ have been boosting their ratings through fraud.

Addressing a media briefing today, Salman said that during the month of March this year, it came to light that the ratings for the TV channels of Express Group were found to be increasing extraordinarily.

He further said that upon investigation, it was found that three of Medialogic’s employees were on the payroll for the Express Group.

Salman added that further inquiries are being conducted by them to find out how exactly the ratings were being boosted, while an FIR has also been registered against all three employees at the Gulberg police station in Lahore.

The Medialogic CEO went on to say that he has also lodged a complaint with Pakistan Broadcasters Association (PBA) and has submitted all the evidence of fraud with them, adding that this evidence has now been shared with all owners of different TV channels.

He also said that PBA has conducted an inquiry with the help of international auditors, adding that the investigation was done on the basis of all the data.

He further said that the international auditors have completed their investigation and have filed a report. “PBA should broadcast or publish this report by the international auditors,” he added.

Detailing specifics, Salman said an employee of Medialogic whose name is Shaista, confessed that she has been receiving money from the Express group.

Sharing further evidence with the media, he added that the bank statements of Express Group employee Tanveer Ahmed confirm that he had been sending money to employees of Medialogic.

Elaborating on the alleged scam, Salman said the ranking for 'Express News' in November/December 2014, was at number four, while in January this year it suddenly soared to number one.

He added that through this ‘fraud’ the Express Group achieved an extra Rs. 50 million in business.

The Medialogic CEO went on to say that the accused, Tanveer, Zulfiqar, and Zulfiqar’s wife are still at large.

Further commenting on the Express Group, he alleged that this is the third time the group has attempted fraud, adding that the group is using its media cloud to pressurise other TV channels.

He also said that the group’s purpose is to pressurise the administration, police, and judiciary so that the truth does not surface.

Medialogic collects data from around 1000 homes across the country, and then analyses the ratings of TV channels. This data becomes the basis for advertising rates on TV channels which in turn becomes the basis of business for the channels.