Government appoints panel to review TRP system

May 12th, 2010 - 3:54 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, May 12 (IANS) The government has constituted a seven-member committee headed by FICCI secretary general Amit Mitra to review the existing Television Rating Point (TRP) system and suggest measures to bring in place an effective and transparent mechanism.
The committee will submit its report within three months from the date of its first meeting, the information and broadcasting ministry said in a statement.

It said the panel has been constituted in the backdrop of deficiencies in the present system of TRPs and its possible impact on the programming content of TV channels.

The committee is expected to address issues related to accuracy, accountability, transparency and objectivity in TRPs and examine how to prevent the impact of misleading TRPs on broadcasters, advertisers and the people.

“The committee shall evolve its own methodology to ensure widest possible consultations on the issue. It will also take into account the recommendations of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), report of parliamentary standing committee on Information and Technology, judicial pronouncements and best international practices,” the statement said.

The members of the committee include Public Service Broadcasting Trust’s managing trustee Rajiv Mehrotra, senior journalist Neeraja Choudhury and former secretary to the government, D.S. Mathur.

The directors of Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, and Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata, or their nominees will also be the members of the committee. Joint Secretary (Broadcasting) in the information and broadcasting ministry will be its member secretary.

The statement said some of the key issues expected to be examined include viability of the TRP system in portraying the demographic profile of the viewership in the context of viewing habits and sample size, and viewership of all distribution platforms, including terrestrial, cable, DTH (direct to home) and IPTV (internet protocol television).

“It shall study issues related to adequate transparency in selection of sample homes for placing people’s meters and current disclosure norms adopted by the rating agencies inhibiting desirable transparency in generation of TRP ratings, including current audit system,” the statement said.

It said the committee shall examine whether an industry-led body like Broadcasting Audience Research Council (BARC), as recommended by TRAI, was the most appropriate mechanism to create TRPs without the existing deficiencies.

“One of the issues proposed to be studied is the feasibility of setting up, as an alternative, an institutional mechanism through legislation to either generate TRP ratings directly or work as an accreditation/standardization body while leaving the work of generation of TRPs to private players,” the statement said.

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