TRAI has released a consultation paper on Guidelines/Accreditation Mechanism for Television Rating Agencies in India. MIB has sought recommendations of TRAI for laying down comprehensive guidelines/accreditation mechanism for TRP (Television Rating Points) rating agencies in India to ensure transparency and accountability in the rating system.
TRP ratings are generated by measuring what is being viewed by the consumers on their Television. On the basis of audience measurement data, ratings are assigned to various programmes/channels on television. These ratings indicate the popularity of a channel or a programme and assists advertisers, broadcasters and advertising agencies in making business decisions. Better ratings would promote a programme/channel while poor ratings will discourage a programme/channel or content. Incorrect ratings will lead to production of content which may not be really popular while good content and programmes may be left out. Therefore, there is a need to have an accurate measurement and representative television ratings for the programmes.
The importance of a credible, transparent and representative television audience measurement system is recognized world over. Presently television rating in India is being done by only one agency. Issues related to credibility and transparency of the ratings services in India has been raised by certain stakeholders. Lack of credible TRP system will hamper the growth of TV industry as a number of decisions having financial implications and also bearing on the type of content being watched are influenced by the TRP ratings supplied by rating agencies. So, there is a need to establish suitable mechanism/guidelines for the rating agencies which ensures that the data generated by the rating agencies is representative, credible and transparent.
The key issues discussed in the consultation paper pertain to:
i. Establishing an accreditation mechanism for the rating agency
ii. Methodology of Audience measurement
iii. Sample size
iv. Secrecy of sample homes
v. Cross holding between rating agencies and their users
vi. Complaint Redressal
vii. Sale & Use of ratings
viii. Disclosure & Reporting requirement
x. Competition in rating services
Consultation paper is available for download