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India probes television rating system

Government ministry seeks more transparency

The Indian TV industry is due for a shake-up.

The all important television rating point (TRP) system that determines TV content and dictates advertising spend has come under scrutiny, with the Indian Ministry of Information and Broadcasting announcing Wednesday that it has appointed a committee to overhaul it and make it more transparent.

Amit Mitra, secretary general of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, will lead the fact-finding body.

The TRP system is based on some 10,000 boxes in sample homes distributed among India’s 100 million cable and satellite homes by AC Nielsen subsid Television Audience Measurement that measure audience preferences.

The ministry cites “deficiencies” in this method and said in a statement Wednesday that it will examine “how misleading TRPs may not only impact broadcasters and advertisers but more importantly the viewing public.”

Mitra’s team will look at the “viability of the TRP system in portraying the demographic profile of the viewership in the context of viewing habits and sample size and coverage area including rural segments of the country.”

They will also determine viewership of all platforms including terrestrial, cable, satellite and IPTV and ensure that the selection of sample homes is transparent.

The committee’s report, due in three months, will also examine whether the TV industry needs a government-led accreditation body.

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