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Recommendations from MIB’s TRP committee. Will it help? [Media Monday]

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Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) has been trying since long to robust the regulations around recording and publishing Television Rating Points (TRPs). They created Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) in 2007 with a goal of ending the monopoly of Television Audience Measurement (TAM). But BARC was a disappointment as it didn’t play it’s role significantly. So finally, the MIB constituted an Independent committee headed by Dr. Amit Mitra on 05.05.2010 to examine various issues concerning TRPs in India. MIB mainly requested to examine the present system of generation of TRPs and its adverse and negative impact on the content of television programmes due to competition for higher TRPs.

On 11th Jan 2011 this agency submitted it’s report and made some 15 recommendations. Here are some of the important and interesting suggestions-

  • Sample size was one of the major concerns for the agency, both TAM and aMAP in combination has around 8000 meters installed in the country (This brings down the factual numbers by around half). Committee has recommended an increase in the sample size to 15,000 urban & rural households, over a period of two years, and then to 30,000 over the next three years covering urban areas, rural areas and small towns, J&K, North east.
  • The total cost for putting up 30,000 meters would be around 660 Crores. This cost will be met by BARC and they want advertisers and broadcasters to pay a certain amount of their annual revenues to them.
  • Innovations should be done on meter manufacturing front too so as to bring down the costs. This also includes bringing down the import duty on meters from current rate of 50%.
  • Committee took a serious note on concerns regarding transparency of data. BARC said that TRP agencies will be periodically subjected to Financial and Process Audit. [Its long been said that homes having meters were being paid bribe to watch particular channels/programs.]
  • Committee also recommended that the rating system should be made compatible with emerging technologies like DTH and IPTV to capture data over different platforms to ensure a holistic picture of the viewers’ preference.
  • TRP announcements at very short intervals may lead to distortion in broadcasting behaviour and, therefore, TRP generation and announcement by the rating agencies, particularly for the news channels, should be done once a week with the possibility to increase the periodicity to a fortnight.
  • TRP measurement process should consist of four stages- 1) designing of survey and quality control research, 2) commissioning and establishment survey, 3) data analysis and report generation, 4) Audit. Each one of these stages should be separately commissioned to distinct agencies to achieve unbiased and reliable results.

  • BARC should set up a Complaint redressal Mechanism on the lines of the model being followed by Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI). [GET FULL REPORT HERE]

That’s some real genuine and good points made by BARC, but it will all come down to execution. These are some of the recommendations which anyone from the industry would have given.

Do you think it will do any help to current TRP monopoly?

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