Panel looking into TRP system submits report to Broadcasting Ministry


The panel set up by the Information and Broadcasting Ministry on November 4 to look into the Television Rating Points system and recommend changes to make it more robust on Tuesday submitted its report to the ministry.

The four-member committee is headed by Prasar Bharati CEO Shashi Shekhar Vempati, who, interestingly, is also a board member of the Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC), the primary body that publishes TRPs in India.

Other members of the committee are Shalabh, professor of statistics, IIT Kanpur; Rajkumar Upadhyay, executive director of the Centre for Development of Telematics-DOT; and Prof Pulak Ghosh of IIM Bangalore.

After panel submitted its report, I&B Minister Prakash Javadekar hinted that the recommendations include increasing the number of meters that are installed in households to capture television viewership.

“The main issue is that TRP should have more transparency,” Javadekar said, and mentioned that the ratings are calculated through 55,000 meters today. “That base should increase, so that there is no scope of manipulation,” he said.

The minister said that the panel made the recommendations keeping this perspective in mind, and after discussions the report will be given to BARC “because the government has the right to give certain guidelines and directions”.

What directions have to be given will be decided later, he said, adding that the committee has “done very good work” and the “ministry will study the report, and the next steps will be decided after that”.

When the committee was set up, the I&B Ministry’s order had stated that there was a “need to have a fresh look on the (existing) guidelines…” and to strengthen procedures for a “credible and transparent rating system”. The committee was tasked with examining the existing system, examining TRAI recommendations, looking at the “overall industry scenario”, addressing needs of stakeholders, making recommendations “for robust, transparent and accountable rating system through changes, if any, in the existing guidelines”.

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