TRAI for industry-led initiative to correct TRP system

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New Delhi, Jul 24 (UNI) Recommending self-regulation for correcting deficiencies of the current system for measuring Television viewership, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) today said the job could be done by any industry-led body.

It advised against any government intervention, saying that for the present, self regulation might work best.

A framework laying specific guidelines including certain reporting requirements would effectively address the shortcomings of the current method of obtaining Television Audience Measurement (TAM)/Television Rating Points (TRPs), TRAI said.

It recommended that industry initiative, Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC), could be recognised as institutional framework.

Once BARC started functioning, then inadequacies of the present system would be effectively addressed in close and coordinated manner with the Ministry of Information&Broadcasting.

''The Authority is of the view that any form of governmental intervention in form of an enactment is not desirable at this stage.'' it said.

TRAI said BARC, which should have two nominees of the Ministry of Information &Broadcasting on its Board of Directors, could initiate its activity regarding TAM/TRP by january next.

There should be a technical Committee within BARC to guide and supervise various processes of ratings and to include nominees from the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER) and Indian Statistical Institute (ISI), Kolkata.

''BARC is not to undertake audience measurement directly, and to resort to an open, transparent bidding process for the various stages involved in the rating process. The council will provide such information and reports as may be asked for by the Ministry from time to time,'' said the Telecom Regulator.

According to TRAI recommendations, the addresses and location of homes where meter were installed would be kept totally confidential.

The Request for Proposal inviting bids from the rating agencies is to be finalised by BARC after duly considering the eligibility conditions and performance obligations as provided by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting from time to time.

The Council's Technical Committee would decide the sample size.

The sample should cover different platforms, including terrestrial / Prasar Bharati channels, cable and satellite platforms, rural and urban areas, and all the States.

No single company/legal person, either directly or through its associates would have substantial equity holding (more than 10 per cent) in more than one Rating agency, said TRAI.

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