TRAI has no intentions to regulate TRPs

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New Delhi, May 18 (UNI) Telecom regulator TRAI has said it has no intentions to regulate Television Rating Points (TRPs).

In a consultation paper released by TRAI on the need for policy guidelines for Television Audience Measurement (TAM)/TRP, TRAI chairman Nripendra Misra said, ''We have no intention to regulate this (TRP) activity and TRAI can only suggest institutional upgradation so that it is closer to the 'truth'.'' TRAI on request from the Information and Broadcasting Ministry is looking into the need for the government to step in or supervise audience metering exercises in view of the explosion in the number TV channels, changing cable environment from analogue to cable as well as in DD's interest amongst other issues.

However, the broadcasters and advertisers together have said 'no' to any government intervention in the business of monitoring TRPs.

Advertising Agency Association of India (AAAI) said, ''TRPs are a matter of interest only to broadcasters, advertising agencies and advertisers as its an estimate of the number of people who watch a TV programme and this number is of interest essentially to broadcasters because it helps them establish a benchmark or a guideline to determine the price that they should charge for advertising on various programmes in different time bands...its essentially a commercial tool and guide that determines the pricing for advertising time on television.'' ''The government intervention is hence, not required,'' AAAI asserted.

The Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC), set up by the broadcasting and advertising associations representing the Indian Broadcasting Federation (IBF), the AAAI, and the ISA, also said there is no need of government to intervene and competition in the market will bring in more credibility to the system.

Television ratings data are subscribed by the 80-odd advertising agencies and 40-odd broadcasters to monitor the viewership and advertising spot trends.

The data indicates the success or failure of television shows or channels based on viewership numbers, and it is crucial for the allocation of advertising budgets of over 200 companies worth over Rs 7,500 crore.

TRPs capture the viewership and market share of channels based on a sample of approximately 7,000 TV owning households in select large cities with population of more than one lakh.

In India, the TRP is currently carried out by two agencies- aMap and TAM.

UNI PDT SG CS1240

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