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TRAI tightens landing-page norms

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MUMBAI: Distributors of television channels, according to a directive issued by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), have been restrained from placing any registered satellite television channel whose TV rating is released by a TV rating agency on the boot-up screen or the landing channel.

Broadcasters and distributors are required to comply with the direction within fifteen days.

The landing channel or the logical channel number (LCN) is first displayed when the set-top box is switched on. The landing channel, or page, is normally used by the distributor of television channels for providing information to consumers and promotion of its distribution platforms.

In the recent past, however, a number of representations from stakeholders have been received stating that the landing page has the potential to affect the viewership data of that channel and, therefore, it is susceptible to influence the television audience measurement ratings.

Placing of a channel on the landing page is the issue relating to interconnectivity between the broadcaster and the distributor of the television channel.

The regulator, on examination of the issue, reached the conclusion that placement of any registered TV channel, whose rating is released by a TV ratings agency, on the landing page may affect orderly growth of the sector and is against the spirit of the policy guidelines for such agencies.

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