I&B ministry may adopt TV rating committee's recommendations : Anurag Thakur

The committee formed under Prasar Bharti CEO submitted its report on Jan ’21.

New Delhi:  The ministry of information and broadcasting (I&B) has analysed and evaluated the recommendations made by the committee led by Prasar Bharti chief executive officer Shashi Shekhar Vempati to review the current guidelines on TV rating agencies in India.

The newly inducted I&B minister Anurag Thakur told the Lok Sabha on Friday, that the recommendations will be incorporated into the existing TV rating guidelines wherever required. “The recommendations have been analysed and evaluated vis-à-vis their being translated, if required, into the existing guidelines where-ever required,” said Thakur while responding to a question on the action-taken report of the said committee.

The union minister said the existing guidelines have provisions like methodology for audience measurement, panel selection, viewing platform secrecy and privacy, data analysis, transparency etc. which are essential for a transparent and accountable rating system in India.

The guidelines, inter-alia, prescribe that the panel homes shall be drawn from the pool of households selected through an establishment survey. The procedure adopted for selection and rotation of the panel homes shall be made transparent. Further, the panel size shall be increased in a graded manner and has to remain representative of all TV households in the country.

The guidelines also prescribe that the rating agency shall publish the detailed methodology on its website. These parameters have been included in the existing guidelines to ensure transparency and representative collection of panel homes.

“Based on the recommendations of the Committee headed by CEO, Prasar Bharati along with recommendations of TRAI, the present guidelines have been analysed / evaluated vis-à-vis strengthening of transparency / panel homes and other parameters,” the minister told the Parliament.

The TV rating system in India came under scanner when in October 2020, the Mumbai police claimed in a press briefing that they had unearthed a case of manipulation of TRPs and found some incriminating evidence. The police said the accused were allegedly bribing households with BARC bar-o-meters installed to keep a particular channel running, leading to several arrests. In light of the controversy, BARC had temporarily suspended publishing of weekly data for news channels.

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