Friday, January 10, 2014

Cabinet approved the guidelines for the television rating agencies

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The Cabinet approved the guidelines for television rating agencies on 9 January 2014. The guidelines were proposed by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
These guidelines will bring out a comprehensive regulatory framework for television rating agencies in India. These guidelines are based on the recommendations of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on the Guidelines for Television Rating Agencies.
These guidelines will make television ratings transparent, credible and accountable.
Highlights of the guidelines
• All the rating agencies including the existing rating agencies shall obtain registration from the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
• All the rating agencies should go through detailed registration procedure, eligibility norms, terms and conditions, cross-holding norms, period of registration, security conditions and other obligations.
• No company will be allowed to hold not more than 10 percent of paid up equity in both rating agencies and media Company.
• Rating need to be technology neutral and shall capture across multiple viewing platforms (cable TV, Direct-to-Home, Terrestrial TV etc).
• The rating agencies should scale up a minimum panel size of 20000 households to be implemented within six months of the guidelines coming into force. The panel size shall be increased by 10000 every year until it reaches 50000 households.
• The rating agency shall submit the detailed methodology to the government and publish it on their website.
• It shall set up an effective complaint redressal system with tool free number and an internal audit mechanism.
• The guideline would come into effect immediately from the date of notification and 30 days time would be given to the existing rating agency.
Background
In August 2008, TRAI recommended the self-regulation approach and established the Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC). The BARC could not operationalise the TRP generating mechanism.
In 2010, the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting constituted a Committee under the chairmanship Amit Mitra to review the existing TRP system In India. The committee recommended the self-regulation of TRPs by the industry was the best way forward.

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