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Writer: exchange4media News Service - Saturday, Mar 29,2008 7:34 AM

TRAI issues consultation paper on TV ratings system

Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has released a consultation paper on ‘Policy Guidelines for Television Audience Measurement/ TRPs’. This is in response to the I&B Ministry seeking the regulatory body’s recommendations on the system and framework of television ratings and the policy guidelines to be adopted for rating agencies.

The letter has broadly indicated the need for an appropriate framework that would ensure transparency, independence of rating agencies and increased coverage reflecting the plurality of regions and viewership.

International experience suggests pre-dominance of self regulating oversight bodies. Through this consultation paper, TRAI has sought views on the basic question “Looking at the impact of television rating points (TRPs) on broadcasters, advertising agencies and advertisers. The first and foremost issue that arises for consultation is whether there is at all a need for the Government to regulate the system of TRPs, or whether this should be left to be decided by industry initiative for the growth of the rating services?”

Comments from the stakeholders have also been sought on issues such as minimum coverage required over different platforms, rural and urban; all states, including the North-East and Jammu and Kashmir, and Prasar Bharati channels; standards/norms to be followed by the rating agencies; measures to encourage competition in rating agencies; mandatory audits to be performed by independent auditors for validation of ratings, their qualifications, scope of such audit, and who the auditors should report to.

This consultation paper would initiate meaningful deliberations with the stakeholders. The comments and inputs from stakeholders would enable TRAI to formulate the recommendations to the I&B Ministry on the subject.

The stakeholders have been requested to send their comments by April 21, 2008.

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