TRAI extends deadline to submit comments on TV rating system CP

MUMBAI: The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has extended the deadline for submission of comments and counter comments on the Consultation Paper ‘Review of Television Audience Measurement and Ratings in India’ to 15th and 28th February 2019 respectively.

The basic objective of this consultation paper is to solicit the views of stakeholders on regulatory initiatives/measures to be taken to make TV rating services more accurate, and widely acceptable.

Several concerns relating to neutrality and reliability of the existing rating system have been raised by stakeholders, which necessitated a need to review of existing Television Audience Measurement and Rating system in India.

The consultation paper explores the possibilities of use of new technologies to enhance credibility, transparency, neutrality, and fairness in the TV rating in India.

On 3rd December 2018, the TRAI had invited written comments from the stakeholders by 2nd January 2019 and counter-comments, if any, from the stakeholders by 16th January 2019.

On the request from the stakeholders, the last date for receipt of written comments and counter-comments, if any, from the stakeholders, was extended up to 2nd February and 16th February respectively.

Summary of issues for consultation

Q1. Whether BARC has been able to accomplish the purpose with transparency and without any bias for which it has been established? Please elaborate your response with justifications. Also, suggest measures to enhance the effectiveness of BARC to give TV ratings with transparency and without bias.

Q2. Do you feel that present shareholding/ownership pattern of BARC ensures adequate representation of all stakeholders to maintain its neutrality and transparent TV ratings? How its credibility and neutrality can be enhanced further? Please elaborate your response with justification.

Q3. Is there a need to promote competition in television rating services to ensure transparency, neutrality and fairness to give TAM rating? What regulatory initiatives/measures can be taken to make TV rating services more accurate and widely acceptable? Please elaborate your response with justifications.

Q4. Is the current audience measurement technique used by BARC apposite? Suggest some methods, if any, to improve the current measurement techniques.

Q5. Does broadcasting programmes that are out of their category or in different language for some time during the telecast affect the TAM rating? If so, what measures should be adopted to curb it?

Q6. Can TV rating truly based on limited panel homes be termed as representative?

Q7 What should be done to reduce impact of manipulation of panel home data on overall TV ratings? Give your comments with justification.

Q8. What should be the panel size both in urban and rural India to give true representation of audience?

Q9. What method/technology would help to rapidly increase the panel size for television audience measurement in India? What will be the commercial challenge in implementing such solutions?

Q10. Should DPOs be mandated to facilitate collection of viewership data electronically subject to consent of subscribers to increase data collection points for better TRP ratings? Give suggestion with justification.

Q11. What percentage of STB supports transferring viewership data by establishing a reverse path/connection from STB? What will be the additional cost if existing STBs without return path are upgraded? Give your suggestions with justifications.

Q12. What method should be adopted for the privacy of individual information and to keep the individual information anonymous?

Q13. What should be the level/granularity of information retrieved by the television audience measurement agency from the panel homes so that it does not violate principles of privacy?

Q14. What measures need to be taken to address the issue of panel tampering/infiltration? Please elaborate your response with justifications.

Q15. Should BARC be permitted to provide raw level data to broadcasters? If yes, how secrecy of households, where the people meters are placed, can be maintained?

Q16. Will provisioning of raw level data to broadcasters, in any manner, either directly or indirectly contravene the policy guidelines for television rating agencies prescribed by MIB?

Q17. Is the current disclosure and reporting requirements in the present guidelines sufficient? If no, what additional disclosure and reporting requirements should be added?

Q18. Stakeholders may also provide their comments on any other issue relevant to the present consultation.