The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting after being satisfied with changes in BARC’s processes, protocols, oversight mechanism and governance structure has directed it to release TRP data of news channels with immediate effect.
Now the TRP measurement agency BARC will not only release regular weekly ratings for the genre but also the last three months data in a monthly format for fair and equitable representation of true trends. According to the new, revised system, the TRP ratings of news and other niche genres shall be on a ‘four-week rolling average concept’.
BARC had suspended publishing news ratings in October 2020 after the Mumbai police unearthed a TRP scam in which a few media houses allegedly bribed homeowners to “rig” their TV ratings. To ensure the credibility of its data, BARC is reconstituting its Board and the Technical Committee to allow induction of Independent Members.
In addition to this, a permanent oversight committee has also been formed and the access protocols for data have been improved, strengthened and tightened. The Ministry has also set up a ‘Working Group’ under the chairmanship of the CEO, Prasar Bharti, for the use of Return Path Data (RPD) in TRP services.
This working group is tasked with activities such as specifying minimum standards for RPD capable STBS, SOPs for certification & audit, common protocols, data standards and modifications to current rating methodology so that data from RPD capable STBS could be integrated into the current TV rating system. This group will submit its final report within 4 months.
Along with chairperson S.S. Vempati, this working group will have one representative each from MeitY, BIS, BARC and AIDCF. DTH operators will be represented by Harit Nagpal, President, DTH Association.