Television

BARC India to TRAI and MIB: Tweak legislation to make data tamper-proof

http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/smartcrop_800x800/public/images/tv-images/2017/09/13/Watching-tv_0.jpg?itok=xm40Q7UH

NEW DELHI: India’s audience measurement company BARC India has urged broadcast regulator TRAI and Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) to bring in legislations making TV viewership data tamper-proof and stipulate stringent penalties for offenders.

“Provisions need to be added in relevant regulations to not only dis-incentivize `viewership malpractices’ but also allow for punitive action against those indulging in such activities,” Broadcast Audience Research Council of India (BARC India) has said.

In addition, it has also suggested the government and regulator to explore whether digital set-top-boxes and smart TV sets could be mandated by law to be made return path data (RPD)-enabled, moves that could enhance data robustness.

BARC India is of the opinion that guidelines for uplinking and downlinking of TV channels, issued by MIB, could be “suitably amended to recognize and codify” efforts by TV channels to infiltrate or tamper with data collection processes.

“A limited number of unscrupulous elements exist in the sector (a carryover from the past) who seek to infiltrate security of BARC India’s sample (panel homes), and unfairly influence their viewership habits. Their goal (and business) is to skew final viewership data in favour of some channels, using unfair means that BARC India defines as `viewership malpractice’,” the measurement body, a joint venture amongst IBF, AAAI and AISA, has said, highlighting it was grappling with legacy issues.

Over the last 12 months several instances have come to light where TV channels were found to be allegedly attempting to tamper and influence audience data and indulging in other malpractices to boost viewership or TV ratings points, as it’s popularly described in India. In some cases, BARC India undertook counter-measures resulting in alleged offenders taking legal recourse. In some other instances, the regulator had to issue warnings in an effort to do damage control.

“In terms of specifics, MIB’s channel licensing norms can stipulate that any broadcaster found to be indulging in unfair means to influence its viewership through acts of viewership malpractice can face... actions,” BARC India has suggested in its submission to TRAI’s consultation paper on `Ease of Doing Business in Broadcasting Sector’, adding a “fair system that evaluates complaints and adjudicates on them may also be included” in the regulations.

Amongst the moves that the government and sector regulator could take, as suggested by BARC India, include measures like errant company facing viewership data blackout for a limited period, telecast ban for a limited period and revoking of license depending on the seriousness of the offense. “A regulatory framework that helps prevent distortions and fraudulent activities in the eco-system would be highly desirable, and valuable to all sections of the industry,” it has said in its submission.

Why is BARC India pushing for legislative protection?  Pointing out that “incorrect, false and misleading audience ratings can lead to incorrect content decisions”, the measurement organization said, “There are no sections in IPC with reference to which BARC India can file police complaint and this emboldens those involved in such (fraudulent) activities.”

In addition to seeking legal protection for data generation process, BARC India has also highlighted to TRAI the technological steps that can be taken --- and is being explored by it.

Use of return path data to complement the present TV currency is one such option. RPD involves capturing TV viewing data of homes with addressable set-top-boxes (DTH and digital cable) by enabling “return path” flow of data. “Once enabled, this would allow capture of TV viewership data from several lakh homes, as opposed to the 50,000 sample mandated at present. Additionally, this larger sample would allow more accurate capture of viewership of niche audiences and genres/channels with small viewing base (such as regional language channels and genres like infotainment, etc.),” BARC India has said.

However, there’s a slight hitch. In the absence of technical standards presently, a large number of STBs in India is not enabled for RPD owing to inadequacies in hardware and software systems.

BARC India, which is presently in discussions with some DTH and digital cable service providers for return path data collation, has submitted that mandating manufacture and sale of RPD-enabled STBs in India would go a long way in further improving TV viewership measurement system in the country.

In this context, the organization has also urged TRAI to examine whether RPD-enabled smart TV sets could be mandated in India considering their rising sales as such a move could further add to the robustness in data collection.

ALSO READ :

BARC India suspends three errant channels' review

HC stays India News ratings suspension; BARC hints at continuing crusade

News channel controversy: BARC India fires riposte to NBA

BARC India in talks with DTH ops, MSOs for RPD to boost robustness

Latest Reads

http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/03/20/walt.jpg?itok=d834AJ3p
Disney formally closes deal with Fox, massive layoffs expected

Walt Disney Co (Disney) has finally closed the deal with on its $71 billion acquisition of 21st Century Fox (Fox). In recent months, the acquisition received final approval from antitrust regulators across the globe.

Television Production House Fiction
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/03/20/chrome.jpg?itok=Vy9rPxRb
Music genre most benefitted in Chrome DM week 11

Music genre has grown 3.93 per cent with the highest opportunity to see (OTS) in week 11 of Chrome Data Analytics and Media.

Television TV Channels Viewership
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/03/20/kevin.jpg?itok=i0pF-Eox
Warner Bros chief Kevin Tsujhara to step down

The WarnerMedia group has announced that Warner Bros studios chairman and CEO Kevin Tsujhara is stepping down after allegations of having an affair with a young British actress and helping her secure roles surfaced, according to reports.

Television TV Channels People
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/03/20/flix.jpg?itok=Ur43FBM_
Witness the heart-warming bond unfold in the epic-adventure movie Alpha premiering on &flix, &Privé HD and Zee Café

Amidst the vast wilderness, the survival of the fittest truly determines life and death. But what happens when your fight for survival brings with it the dangers of the wild? Witness a young boy unleash his inner warrior and struggle as he travels through treacherous landscapes in the epic-...

Television TV Channels English Entertainment
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/03/20/smriti.jpg?itok=PZiuoicm
Smriti Mehra elevated to Executive Vice President, Focus at Network18

After stints with Discovery Channel, Arré and Turner Broadcasting, Smriti Mehra returned home to Network18 Group last year. The company today announced her elevation as EVP – Focus, to head revenue. She will report to Priyanka Kaul – President, Marketing & Special Projects, Network18.

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/03/20/ganga.jpg?itok=H7BNoB2s
Big Ganga launches 4 new Bhojpuri shows

Big Ganga, ZEE Entertainment Enterprise Ltd’s Bhojpuri general entertainment channel in Bihar, Jharkhand, and Purvanchal is all set to cater to the demands of its audience for original content with two hours of weekday and one hour of weekend with four new shows.

Television TV Channels Regional
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/03/20/t_tv_punjabi.jpg?itok=S7j173Rc
New FTA channel T TV to focus on Punjabi audience

T TV, Taur Punjab Di, is the latest 24 hour free to air channel being launched by Teleone Consumers Product Pvt Ltd which is a part of DV Group of companies and is aimed at providing quality entertainment to the north Indian audience.

Television TV Channels Regional
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/03/20/re.jpg?itok=ab6NQhhE
ARG Outlier Media writes to TRAI, accuses News18 India of flouting landing page directive

ARG Outlier Media Asianet News, which owns channels like Republic TV, Republic Bharat among others, has accused TV18 Broadcast Ltd of flouting Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s (TRAI) 3 December 2018 directive to broadcasters and distribution platform operators (DPO).

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2019/03/19/abby.jpg?itok=9MZhUc6j
“ABBY AWARDS 2019” announces the illustrious Master Jury for the Creative ABBY’s

The gold standard in advertising awards, ABBY Awards 2019 that celebrates creative excellence in the category has announced an illustrious master jury for the upcoming edition.

Television TV Shows Awards

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories