Press Trust of India
New Delhi, 11 September
Observing that the present system of guaging TV ratings was “not credible”, Broadcast regulator Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) today asked the government to revamp the system at the earliest, failing which it may intervene.
Releasing recommendations on the guidelines for TV rating agencies, the regulator expressed unhappiness over “little or no progress” on implementation of suggestions given by it aound five years back.
Among the recommendations is the one suggesting self-regulation of TV ratings through an industry led body like Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC).
The Trai wanted the Information and Broadcasting Ministry to notify its recommendations “preferably within two months”.
People know that “the present system of TV ratings is not credible and the public suffers because of this, as it is not known which programmes are really popular”, Trai Chairman Rahul Khullar said.
In a statement released while issuing fresh guidelines, Trai said “implementation has now become a critical factor” and it would not continue to be a mute spectator and may suo motu intervene in larger public interest. When asked what intervention Trai could resort to, Mr Khullar said: “We can do a lot.”
The other Trai recommendations include that TV rating agencies should have a minimum of 20,000 panel homes for collecting viewership data and this number should increase by 10,000 every year till the figure of 50,000 is reached.
It also says that any agency which can meet the eligibility conditions should be allowed to register with the I&B ministry for doing the rating work.
The rating agency (excluding BARC) shall have a minimum net worth of Rs 20 crore Trai has suggested. Any member of the Board of Directors of the television rating company shall not be in the business of broadcasting or advertising, Trai has held.