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TRAI extends date for TRP consultation paper comments

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NEW DELHI: The last date for receipt of comments on the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India?s (TRAI?s) consultation paper on accreditation of television rating organisations has been extended to 23 May. The last date earlier was 9 May.

TRAI said that it had on the request of the stakeholders given 30 May (earlier 16 May) as the date for any counter-comments.

In an effort to put an end to controversies generated by television rating points, TRAI had on 17 April issued a paper to deal with issues such as establishing an accreditation mechanism for the rating agency and methodology of audience measurement.

The consultation paper on "Guidelines/Accreditation Mechanism for Television Rating Agencies in India" also seeks to get the views of stakeholders on sample size; secrecy of sample homes; cross holding between rating agencies and their users; complaint redressal; sale and use of ratings; disclosure and reporting requirement; competition in rating services; and audit.

The consultation paper has been issued at the behest of the information and broadcasting ministry, which had earlier received a report from the Amit Mitra Committee on the subject. The Indian Broadcasting Foundation has since been working to set up the Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) as an alternative to TAM.

The consultation paper aims to lay down comprehensive guidelines/accreditation mechanism for TRP (television rating points) rating agencies in India to ensure transparency and accountability in the rating system.

A press note from TRAI says ?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 recognised the 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 full text of the Consultation Paper is available on TRAI?s website www.trai.gov.in

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