Television

US channel for Asians KTSF opposes federal legislation to regulate TV ratings

MUMBAI: American broadcaster KTSF-TV, which caters to the Asian expatriate community has said that it opposes legislation that would federally regulate TV ratings.

The aim of the bill is to provide for the accuracy of television ratings services. The channel however states that the proposed regulation could stifle recent strides in Asian and other ethnic programming. The legislation introduced by Senator Conrad Burns would require mandatory accreditation of television ratings through the Media Rating Council.

The Senate Commerce Committee has scheduled a hearing for 27 July 2005. In a letter sent to the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Commerce Committee, KTSF GM Michael Sherman said, "Instead of spurring the growth of ethnic television, we believe this legislation would diminish entrepreneurial opportunities by creating unnecessary and contentious procedures for determining ratings."

"KTSF believes that if federal legislation created mandatory ratings accreditation we would not have been able to get the kind of creative response from a media research entity to serve our immediate needs. With respect to the oversight of television ratings, we agree with the FTC when it said earlier this year that: 'well-constructed industry self-regulatory efforts can be more prompt, flexible and effective than government regulation'.

"As a broadcaster offering ethnic programming, I want to reiterate that for our markets to grow we must have access to the most relevant research information available. This will certainly require continuous advances in television ratings systems that can respond quickly to the changing dynamics and competitiveness of today's television environment.

"The passage of the legislation will not get us there. The incentives and competitiveness of the free market system has already done a good job and can continue to better assist the recent surge in diverse ethnic programming."

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