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DDF Exclusive TDSAT sets aside TRAIs Landing Page Directions

Basil

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Delhi : The TDSAT on Wednesday pronounced it judgement and set aside TRAIs direction dated 03.12.2018 to broadcasters and DPOs relating to the display of TV channels.

Bennet Coleman, AIDCF and JPR Channel Mumbai (herein after Appealants) had challenged TRAIs direction in TDSAT.

Appealants
  • Impugned direction has serious adverse affects on the income revenue streams of the appealants for no good reasons.
  • Right to carry on trade and business without undue and uncalled interference has been put into jeopardy without providing any tangible or measurable benefit to the consumers or to service providers.
  • It will impede the orderly growth of the sector by affecting the lawful source of income of the broadcasters and DPOs because to compensate such loss they would have to put the burden on the customers.
  • TRP is not affected by the contents of the landing page because the viewer has the choice to shift to any other channel.
  • TRP as a subject lies under the domain of MIB and not under TRAI. Interconnection Regulation of 2017 doesn't relate to placement of a channel any page.
  • As against 193 million Television households, only 50000 are households whoch have received training and contribute to the data for deciding TRP and their effect is negligible.
  • Power for taking the impugned decision can be claimed by TRAI only though regulation. For improving the purity of TRP, TRAI can only have an advisory role.
  • BARC should be allowed to take the initiative for remedies if the problem is genuine. Since they haven't done so it is assumed that the stakeholders aren't affected adversely.

TRAI
  • Landing page influences TRP resulting in a non-level playing field
  • Tho it is an important marketing tool due to its ill effects it affects the credibility of the TV rating system.
  • BARC ruled out the possibility of neutralising the influence of landing LCN on ratings due to technical limitations.
  • Broadcasting has been brought under the ambit of telecommunication services and 2017 Regulations define broadcasting in very wide terms.
  • Regulations of 2017 do not deal at all with placement on a landing page and therefore, the directions are valid and justified.
  • In order to allow the distributors to earn the restriction has only been placed on the placement of rated channels.


TDSAT Judgement

The provisions which have claimed and also are mentioned in the impugned directions as a source of power and which have been relied upon by TRAI, do not vest any power in TRAI to issue any directions on landing page. For such a purpose their is no power in TRAI to issue directions under the Act.

Hence, in our considered view, the impugned directions are beyond the provisionsof the Act which empower TRAI to issue directions. Therefore, the impugned directions must be set aside on this point alone. We order accordingly.
























Source - TDSAT
 

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Basil

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While Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal’s (TDSAT) recent judgment on landing page was good news for some, many broadcasters detest the move that nullifies TRAI’s restraint on all broadcasters and distributors of TV channels from placing any registered TV channel on the landing page. Broadcasters have written a letter to BARC, requesting it to “reconsider and reinstate the appropriate moderation policies”.

Following TDSAT’s ruling, BARC India has notified they would include the ratings of channels placed on landing page in its weekly ratings data. The latest data put out by BARC shows CNN News 18 on the number one spot followed by Republic TV, Times Now, DD India and India Today Television. Most broadcasters feel this data from Week 22 is reflective of how broadcasters with deep pockets manipulate the ratings with huge investments on landing page.

TV channels take up TDSAT landing page order issue with BARC, want action reversed - Exchange4media
 

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MUMBAI: The Broadcasters Audience Research Council (BARC) India has informed its subscribers that it has reverted to the earlier process of treatment of landing page in the interim.

The audience measurement body has started filtering out outliers from the landing page following representation from the industry. BARC has neutralised the reach outliers (abnormal reach) for the week 23 data, which was released today.
BARC India reverts to earlier process of treatment of landing page - TelevisionPost: Latest News, India’s Television, Cable, DTH, TRAI
 

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