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What is TRP why was it manipulated?

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What is TRP, why was it manipulated?

Why in News?

Mumbai police have alleged that three television channels are involved in manipulating TRPs.

What is Target Rating Point (TRP)?

Sometimes it is also known as the Television Rating Points.

It is the metric used by the marketing and advertising agencies to evaluate viewership.

  • TRPs represent how many people, from which socio-economic categories, watched which channels for how much time during a particular period.

How is it recorded?

  • In India, the TRP is recorded by the Broadcast Audience Research Council using Bar-O-Meters that are installed on televisions in selected households.

As on date, the BARC has installed these meters in 44,000 households across the country.

Besides, Audio watermarks are embedded in video content prior to broadcast.

  • These watermarks are not audible to the human ear, but can easily be detected and decoded using dedicated hardware and software. As viewing details are recorded by the Bar-O-Meters, so are the watermarks.

Why these ratings are important?

  • On the basis of audience measurement data, ratings are assigned to various programmes on television.
  • Television ratings in turn influence programmes produced for the viewers.
  • Better ratings would promote a programme while poor ratings will discourage a programme.
  • Incorrect ratings will lead to production of programmes which may not be really popular while good programmes may be left out.
  • Besides, TRPs are the main currency for advertisers to decide which channel to advertise on by calculating the cost-per-rating-point (CPRP).

How can TRP data be rigged?

If broadcasters can find the households where devices are installed, they can either bribe them to watch their channels, or ask cable operators or multi-system operators to ensure their channel is available as the “landing page” when the TV is switched on.

What is BARC?

It is an industry body jointly owned by advertisers, ad agencies, and broadcasting companies, represented by The Indian Society of Advertisers, the Indian Broadcasting Foundation and the Advertising Agencies Association of India.

Created in 2010.

  • I&B Ministry notified the Policy Guidelines for Television Rating Agencies in India on January 10, 2014 and registered BARC in July 2015 under these guidelines, to carry out television ratings in India.

Sources: the Hindu.