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New Guidelines for Television Rating Agencies released
Jan 10, 2014

Television Rating Points (TRPs) have been a much debated issue in India since the present system of TRPs is riddled with several maladies such as small sample size which is not representative, lack of transparency, lack of reliability and credibility of data etc. Shortcomings in the present rating system have been highlighted by key stakeholders that include individuals, consumer groups, government, broadcasters, advertisers, and advertising agencies etc.

Thus, the proposal of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting for bringing out a comprehensive regulatory framework in the form of guidelines for Television Rating Agencies in India has been approved by the Union Cabinet.

These guidelines cover detailed procedures for registration of rating agencies, eligibility norms, terms and conditions of registration, cross-holdings, methodology for audience measurement, a complaint redressal mechanism, sale and use of ratings, audit, disclosure, reporting requirements and action on non-compliance of guidelines, etc.

The broad guidelines are:

1. No single company / legal entity either directly or through its associates or interconnect undertakings shall have substantial equity holding that is, 10 percent or more of paid up equity in both rating agencies and broadcasters/advertisers/advertising agencies.

2. Ratings ought to be technology neutral and shall capture data across multiple viewing platforms viz. cable TV, Direct-to- Home (DTH), Terrestrial TV, etc.

3. Panel homes for audience measurement shall be drawn from the pool of households selected through an establishment survey. A minimum panel size of 20,000 to be implemented within six months of the guidelines coming into force. Thereafter the panel size shall be increased by 10,000 every year until it reaches the figure of 50,000.

4. Secrecy and privacy of the panel homes must be maintained. 25 percent of panel homes shall be rotated every year.

5. The rating agency shall set up an effective complaint redressal system with a toll free number.

6. The rating agency shall set up an internal audit mechanism to get its entire methodology/processes audited internally on quarterly basis and through an independent auditor annually. All audit reports to be put on the website of the rating agency. Government and TRAI reserve the right to audit the systems /procedures/mechanisms of the rating agency.

Non-compliance of guidelines on cross-holding, methodology, secrecy, privacy, audit, public disclosure and reporting requirements shall lead to forfeiture of two bank guarantees worth Rs. one crore furnished by the company in the first instance, and, in the second instance shall lead to cancellation of registration. 30 days time would be given to the existing rating agency to comply with the guidelines.


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