Cabinet Nod for Framework on Tele Ratings - The New Indian Express

Cabinet Nod for Framework on Tele Ratings

Published: 10th January 2014 06:00 AM

Last Updated: 10th January 2014 02:44 PM

With a view to streamlining the way TV channels are rated in the country, the Union Cabinet on Thursday approved a much-awaited proposal for bringing out a comprehensive regulatory framework with guidelines for the Television Rating Agencies.

These guidelines will 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. Here are the salient features of these guidelines.

As per the guidelines, TRAI and I & B can conduct inspections of the rating company with a “resonable notice”.

The proposal is based on recommendations made by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) and is aimed at "making television ratings transparent, credible and accountable."

Briefing mediapersons on the decision, Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari said there has been a “need” for such a framework to bring about transparency in the system.

According to the proposed guidelines being brought to address “aberrations” in the system, all rating agencies including the existing rating agencies shall obtain registration from the Ministry of I & B.

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

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

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 50,000.

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

Non-compliance of guidelines shall lead to forfeiture of two bank guarantees worth `1 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 agency to comply with the guidelines, which would come into effect immediately from the date of notification.

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