The Committee set up by the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting to review the TRP measurement in India submitted its report to the Minister for Information & Broadcasting, Ambika Soni, on January 10, 2011. There are 15 key recommendations mentioned in the report that would impact the working of the television ratings system in India.
Giving an overall view on the recommendations, Uday Shankar, CEO, STAR India, and the current President, Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF), said that the recommendations were “fair to the broadcasting industry and to the public”.
In a conversation with exchange4media, Shankar said, “There are many recommendations in the report which can make the ratings system in India much more representative and transparent. The mentioned points either captured or reiterated the points that IBF has been saying for a long time.”
One of the recommendations also stated that BARC should initiate changes within its Board and appoint the High Powered Committee by June 2011. The Committee has further recommended that if BARC fails to do so, it may invoke Government action through appropriate legislation such as taking over the regulation of TRP measurement either by asking TRAI to step in or by creating other mechanisms.
Referring to this recommendation, Shankar remarked, “BARC has come a long way in the last two years. Significant groundwork in terms of registering the body has already been done. While June 2011 is an aggressive deadline, BARC must try and meet the deadline, because if it does not, a great opportunity to create self regulated mechanism for ratings in India would be lost.”
Summing it up, Shankar is of the opinion that much that is stated in the recommendation has already been in discussions in the industry, and the recommendations are constructive. He pointed out, “The IBF has always said that ratings should be industry managed, industry owned and industry run body. The recommended High Powered Committee is also on similar lines as the Technical Committee of BARC.”
He concluded, “I would compliment Dr Amit Mitra and Minister Ambika Soni for bringing out such a comprehensive report.”
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