Stakeholders have been given more time to send their comments and counter comments on the consultation paper on ‘Guidelines/ Accreditation Mechanism for Television Rating Agencies in India’, which was released by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on April 17, 2013.
The last date for receipt of written comments has been extended up to May 23 and for counter comments, the last date is May 30. The earlier dates were May 9 for comments and May 16 for counter comments.
As is known, the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting (MIB) has sought TRAI’s recommendations for laying down comprehensive guidelines/ accreditation mechanism for TRP rating agencies in India to ensure transparency and accountability in the ratings system.
Some of the key issues discussed in TRAI’s consultation paper include sample size, secrecy of sample homes, cross holding between rating agencies and their users, and sale and use of ratings. There are a few more points that have been included this time, such as establishing an accreditation mechanism for the rating agency, methodology of audience measurement, complaint redressal, audit and competition in rating services.
At present, television rating in India is being done by only one agency. Issues related to credibility and transparency of the ratings services in India have been raised by certain stakeholders. Lack of a credible TRP system will hamper the growth of TV industry as a number of decisions having financial implications and also bearing on the type of content being watched are influenced by the TRP ratings supplied by rating agencies. Hence, there is a need to establish suitable mechanism/ guidelines for the rating agencies, which ensures that the data generated by the rating agencies is representative, credible and transparent.