Regulators

TRAI always believes intervention should be limited to market failures: R S Sharma

TRAI has been criticised lately for over-regulating the industry

https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/smartcrop_800x800/public/images/tv-images/2020/08/24/rs_sharma.jpg?itok=sj8LY29w

KOLKATA: The cable and broadcasting industry has been despondent of late due to several new regulations. Many of the stakeholders have complained about “over-regulation” stunning the growth of the business and causing unnecessary burdens. The outgoing chairman of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), R S Sharma, has refuted the claims reemphasizing that the authority has always looked at light-touch regulation. Sharma stated that TRAI has always believed intervention should be limited to market failures, adding that it has never interfered if the market is trouble-free. He addressed several controversial issues.

During a conversation with Governance Now MD Kailashnath Adhikari, Sharma has spoken in favour of the most controversial regulation of this year, the amended New Tariff Order (NTO 2.0). He said that the tariff order was brought to strike a perfect balance between consumer choice and industry benefits.

Sharma mentioned that while it has given new power to consumers to watch channels of his own choice, it has also given broadcasters the liberty to decide the pricing of their channels, distributors to have an independent source of revenue through network capacity fees. “In such a situation, it will be unfair to call it over-regulation,” he commented.

He reiterated that TRAI’s data shows that 90 per cent of the people watch only about 50 channels out of the 800-900 channels in the country. He also added that OTT platforms allow much more freedom to watch content compared to linear TV, and this is one of the primary reasons for the audience shifting to OTT platforms. After the implementation of NTO in last year, many long-tail channels shut their shops. “IBF’s statement is rubbish, and it brings fear in the minds of people,” Sharma stated, mentioning that the case is sub judice in court. 

Earlier this year, when the pandemic started hitting the ad revenue dependent broadcasting industry, TRAI issued a set of recommendations for a major overhaul of the country’s TV viewership measurement agency, BARC India, a joint industry body of the broadcasters, advertisers, and advertising agencies. Recommendations included an increasing number of people meters from 44,000 to 66,000 by the end of 2020 and 1,00,000 by the end of 2022. Many stakeholders commented that it seemed to throttle the entire system rather than reforming. 

“Audience measurement is a significant source for broadcasting to get advertising and program sponsorship. In fact, that is the only currency. An industry dependent on advertising for survival and growth, audience measurement is a critical activity. Broadcasting is one such sector that is largely dependent on advertising revenue. Broadcasters earned revenue Rs 45000 crore in 2019, 32000 crore was collected from advertising. This underlies the dependence on the flow of advertising, which largely hinges on the profile of their audience and popularity of the content, which is assessed by television audience measurement rating. It is imperative that the process of that measurement should be objective, fair, neutral, transparent,” Sharma commented.

“Some important recommendations are the need for structural reformation of governing of BARC to mitigate the potential risk of conflicts, bring transparency, and the confidence of all stakeholders on the TV audience measurement system. To create a credible and accurate collection of data, multiple data agencies need to be in competition, which would bring new technologies, research methodologies, and new ways to ensure better data quality,” Sharma further adds. 

According to him, technology is ever-evolving, and the TV rating system needs to be in tandem. While Sharma mentioned that TRAI only gave the recommendation of the constitution of BARC, he also stated that periodical reformations are needed. Many stakeholders raised the issue of huge investment in restructuring. He said that many reformations could be carried out in a frugal way on the back of new technologies.

Latest Reads

https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2020/09/22/ott.jpg?itok=RLzI0J2B
MIB expresses dissatisfaction with IAMAI’s self-regulatory model for OTT platforms

KOLKATA: While all the major OTT players have agreed to come under the ambit of Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI)’s self-regulation guidelines recently, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) has expressed its dissatisfaction with the model.

Regulators I&B Ministry
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2020/09/21/md.jpg?itok=qGo7PAkU
93% TV households do not watch news channels; media degenerated into becoming pet performing poodle of govt” former I&B minister, Manish Tewari to Kailashnath Adhikari, MD,Governance Now

“93% TV households do not watch news channels; media degenerated into becoming pet performing  poodle of govt” former I&B minister, Manish Tewari to Kailashnath Adhikari, MD, Governance Now. Former Information and Broadcasting Minister and MP, Lok Sabha, Manish Tewari has said that  with only...

Regulators I&B Ministry
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2020/09/18/vimal.jpg?itok=4FIyqUMq
MIB issues advisory to curb surrogate advertising

NEW DELHI: Surrogate Advertising has been a very old debate in the India’s advertising industry. An alcohol brand can advertise in the garb of music CD or a gutka brand can talk about the great taste of saffron and circumvent the advertising code. The rule thus aims at prohibiting surrogate...

Regulators I&B Ministry
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2020/09/15/trai.jpg?itok=H6T7seIA
TRAI issues recommendations on cloud services

Following a multistage consultation process, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has released recommendations on cloud services. The regulatory body issued a consultation paper on 23 October 2019 inviting inputs on the number of industry bodies.

Regulators TRAI
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2020/09/15/tele.jpg?itok=7auTWMMY
TRAI says nyet to regulating communication OTTs

The Indian communication OTT ecosystem can breathe easier now. After slapping oodles of regulation on the TV sector, as voiced regularly by the television broadcasting community, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India.

Regulators TRAI
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2020/09/10/subahsg.jpg?itok=nFtp6Jdi
Subhash Kamath elected as ASCI chairman

NEW DELHI: BBH & Publicis Worldwide India Chief Executive Officer Subhash Kamath has been elected chairman of the board of governors of the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI). The vote was held at the board meeting that followed the thirty-fourth annual general meeting this afternoon...

Regulators I&B Ministry
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2020/09/09/trai.jpg?itok=VrVh-ynI
NTO 2.0 update: Broadcasters conclude their argument before Bombay HC

KOLKATA:  As the ongoing legal battle between broadcasters and the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India(TRAI) in Bombay High Court nears its ending, the broadcasters have concluded their argument. On 18 September, the solicitor general will open for TRAI before the court. TRAI chairman R S Sharma...

Regulators High Court
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2020/09/08/mib.jpg?itok=05f1QAET
Co-production Treaty to take India-Italy cooperation to a new level: Minister, MIB

Mr Prakash Javadekar, Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Government of India, on Monday said that the Venice Film festival has stood as a symbol of recognition of cinematic excellence at an international platform. “Participation of India in Venice Film Festival 2020 as a focus country has...

Regulators I&B Ministry
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2020/08/31/sud.jpg?itok=WAXHgyFs
Delhi High Court stays the broadcast of Sudarshan News’ communal show

A major controversy erupted when Sudarshan News CMD & editor-in-chief Suresh Chavanke released a promo of his forthcoming episode UPSC Jihad of his television show Bindas Bol on Aug 25.

Regulators High Court

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories

* indicates required