Television

Govt committee seeks to set up a specialised regulator for media ratings in India

The committee’s report was recently shared with BARC and several broadcasters’ associations

https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/smartcrop_800x800/public/images/tv-images/2021/11/09/tv.jpg?itok=BN7MnoD5

Mumbai: The committee on TRP ratings formed by the government has pushed for the formation of multiple rating agencies in competition to Barc India, and recommended creating a specialised regulator to oversee all of them.

The 39-page report submitted by the committee early this year has recently been shared with Broadcast Audience Research Council (Barc) India and other broadcasters to take the discussions forward. The committee led by Prasar Bharti CEO Shashi Shekhar Vempati was constituted last year in the aftermath of the TRP scam in Mumbai.

According to the report, the regulation of multiple rating agencies should be a specialised function that requires a suitable regulator and cited Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) in regulating credit rating agencies and Media Ratings Council in the United States as successful examples. As per the committee, the regulator can look at end-to-end regulation of audience measurement in India and also provide for an Appellate Authority to redress grievances and mediate disputes between stakeholders and rating agencies with appropriate powers.

The committee to review the ‘Guidelines on TV Rating Agencies in India’ had made a total of 20 recommendations to the ministry of information and broadcasting (i&b) that includes both immediate and long-term measures that need to be taken to restore faith in the integrity of TV rating system in view of emerging technology trends and market dynamics.

Most of the recommendations made by the committee in their report accessed by Indiantelevision.com are aimed at strengthening corporate governance at Barc India at the board level. The recommendations have also laid down specific measures to bring independent oversight of Barc India, mandate the use of return-path data, increase the competitiveness in the TV rating space, and put in place a specialised regulatory mechanism for media rating agencies in India.

It felt that industry stakeholders must come to a consensus over acceptable business practices to ensure faith in ratings. It also recommended that the government may consider temporarily suspending its license to Barc India until it and stakeholder bodies have complied with directives issued by MIB.

After consultation with stakeholders such as Barc India, MDPL, Zappr Media, Nielsen India, and Tata Sky AMS, the committee had issued several specific and sweeping recommendations on the technical aspects of TV rating measurement in India.

It found that there was a broad consensus among industry stakeholders in favour of leveraging return data capabilities. However, apart from Barc and a few platforms, there was a lack of ubiquity in approach or consistency in investment in RPD by platforms.

It also recommended that RPD should be made mandatory for set-top-boxes (STBs) deployed by distributed platform operators (DPOs). “The increasing convergence between STBs and smart media devices and in view of the emergence of hybrid boxes capable of both CAS compliant linear TV viewing and internet streaming-based OT, the committee sees fewer technical barriers to enable RPD capabilities within households” it noted.

Adding further, it said, “Smartphone-based apps are capable of interacting with such hybrid boxes paving the way for additional avenues of RPD data capture and relay.”

The collection of viewership data by DPOs is to be governed by privacy norms prescribed by the government/regulator. The sale of such data by DPOs should be governed by guidelines for TV rating systems. A joint industry working group with representation from all relevant stakeholders and independent experts may be set up to specify norms for an industry-wide RPD mandate, according to the report.   

The report noted that crowdsourcing approaches could be economical alternatives to RPD and should be open to rating agencies to enrich panel-based measurement. However, it noted that owing to the nascent stage of innovations in cloud-based computing and artificial intelligence and the small pool of talent and expertise with an understanding of TV ratings and media audience measurement domain in India, any integration of crowdsourced data is best left to the discretion of stakeholders.

Another interesting recommendation by the committee for the imperative is to adopt an open data ecosystem. It drew on the experience of similar data efforts in domains such as digital payments (UPI, India stack) and account aggregator system for credit rating (Sahamati), noting that algorithms and raw datasets should be made available to academics and independent researchers to analyse, validate and enrich.

The committee observed the global shift towards hybrid audience measurement spanning multiple channels (TV+digital) and the rapid technology innovation hastening this shift. It stated that guidelines prescribed by MIB should not be a barrier to the emergence of more efficient business models that are in pace with global trends and local market dynamics.

Led by Prasar Bharati CEO Shashi Shekhar Vempati, the four-member team also included - IIT Kanpur, professor of statistics, department of mathematics and statistics, Dr Shalabh; C-DOT executive director Dr Rajkumar Upadhyay; Decision Sciences Centre for Public Policy professor Pulak Ghosh.

The television rating system in India had come under scanner in October 2020 when Mumbai Police claimed in a press briefing that they have probed a case of manipulation of TRPs and found some incriminating evidence. The police said the accused were allegedly bribing the households to keep a particular channel running, leading to several arrests. Three news channels, Republic TV, Fakt Marathi, and Box Cinema were named in an alleged TRP tampering scam. BARC had also temporarily suspended the publishing of weekly data for news channels, which remains in limbo till date.

Latest Reads

https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2022/01/21/img_21012022_150611_800_x_800_pixel.jpg?itok=CVdKxPJA
Colors Gujarati’s 'Sorath Ni Mrs Singham' premieres on 21 Jan

Mumbai: Colors Gujarati has announced the launch of its new show titled "Sorath Ni Mrs Singham." Premiering on 21 January, the show will air every Monday to Saturday at 9 p.m.

Television TV Channels Regional
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2022/01/21/img_21012022_150034_800_x_800_pixel.jpg?itok=0tdpY3LO
News18 India to telecast ‘Mahapoll’ ahead of assembly elections

Mumbai: As the polling dates for the upcoming assembly elections approach closer, political parties are driving their campaigns to the pinnacle in all poll-bound states including Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, and Uttarakhand. News18 India will get a step ahead and telecast the biggest opinion poll ‘...

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2022/01/21/img_21012022_143329_800_x_800_pixel.jpg?itok=_xwEbV2j
Sony Sports showcases untold stories of WWE superstars in new campaign

Mumbai: Sony Sports Networks has launched a new campaign called 'WWE Superstars with Rana Daggubati’ that showcases the untold stories and heroics of WWE superstars.  Produced and conceptualised by Sony Sports Networks, the campaign will feature stories of ten WWE superstars narrated by South actor...

Television TV Channels Sports
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2022/01/21/2.jpg?itok=JUqQgRl6
VBS 2022: Over-regulation could impede pay-TV industry’s growth in near-term

Over-regulation could impede the pay-TV industry’s growth in the near term, especially amid rising competition from the OTT platforms, and DD Free Dish’s expanding territories, highlighted industry stakeholders at the Video and Broadband Summit (VBS) 2022 on Wednesday.

Television TV Channels Viewership
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2022/01/20/img_20012022_190838_800_x_800_pixel.jpg?itok=-uw0vdhK
Red FM launches ‘Wave Se Safe’ campaign to spread Covid awareness

Mumbai: 93.5 Red FM along with Project StepOne has announced the new campaign called ‘Wave Se Safe’ that puts the spotlight on spreading authentic information about the new variant of Covid-19. The campaign aims to sensitise people about the situation and how putting it under control is in our own...

Television TV Channels Music and Youth
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2022/01/20/img_20012022_184751_800_x_800_pixel.jpg?itok=UB2r17E_
Colors announces new talent show ‘Hunarbaaz: Desh Ki Shaan’

Mumbai: Colors has announced the launch of its new talent show "Hunarbaaz – Desh Ki Shaan" which will give people a platform to showcase their extraordinary skills.  Produced by Frames Production and hosted by Bharti Singh and Haarsh Limbachiyaa, the show will premiere on 22 January, airing every...

Television TV Channels GECs
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2022/01/20/img_20012022_175841_800_x_800_pixel.jpg?itok=9D3B-5I5
Media veteran Nitin Chawla moves on from Disney

Mumbai: Global media veteran Nitin Chawla has announced his decision to quit The Walt Disney Company after over a 13 years-stint. He was head of business operations, digital media for direct-to-consumer and international business. "After 13 wonderful years at The Walt Disney Company (TWDC), I have...

Television TV Channels People
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2022/01/20/img_20012022_165847_800_x_800_pixel.jpg?itok=kCULWIkr
Radio City urges citizens to donate for good cause

Mumbai: Many people find it difficult to resist the urge of an unexpected shopping spree, eventually cluttering the house with heaps of unused goods is definitely not a good idea, especially when there are people around us who may be in need of basic essentials. With this thought in mind along with...

Television TV Channels Music and Youth
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2022/01/20/img_20012022_144801_800_x_800_pixel.jpg?itok=nZFoTPhE
Disney forms international content group, Rebecca Campbell to lead

Mumbai: The Walt Disney Company is creating a new hub for international content under the direction of international content and operations chairman Rebecca Campbell. The company is also making several key executive appointments to its media and entertainment distribution segment under the...

Television TV Channels Kids

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories

* indicates required