As manipulation scandal explodes, TRPs in eye of storm

2020/10 08 16:10

Tv Ranking Factors, the viewers measurement system on which ₹35,000-crore price of promoting on Indian tv hinges, was within the eye of a storm on Thursday over expenses of manipulation.

The scandal has stirred a hornet’s nest for advertisers — on whether or not they’re parking their cash in the fitting channels. It has additionally introduced again into focus TRAI’s suggestions on overhauling the operational framework of Broadcast Viewers Analysis Council (BARC) India, the joint-industry physique for TV viewers measurement.

Considerably, on Wednesday, the Minister for I&B Prakash Javadekar additionally made a case for rethinking TRPs, tweeting that “there must be a greater solution to monitor recognition”.

The controversy exploded when Mumbai Police’s crime department issued a press word saying it had busted a racket, whereby the sampling metering system put in by BARC was being manipulated.

Fixing meters

The police obtained a tip off from Hansa Analysis, the company putting in the metering gadget, which had filed an FIR in opposition to an ex-employee, alleging wrongdoing. Three information channels allegedly gained from the meter fixing.

Whereas BARC and Hansa each issued statements saying their methods are sturdy and so they do hold a vigilant eye, it has as soon as once more raised the difficulty of relying an excessive amount of on rankings to resolve the place to promote.

Most advertisers BusinessLine spoke with stated they’d no different selection and the BARC’s system was probably the most definitive.

Shailesh Kapoor, Founder and CEO, Ormax Media, a media consulting agency, whereas commending BARC’s system, nonetheless, stated there was some ambiguity over the information class. “One class the place one can query the position of rankings is information. It may be argued that information has a bigger social goal to serve, and dependence on rankings has made information channels cater to the ‘leisure’ wants of viewers, as that provides greater rankings,” he stated.

Considerably, in 2019, information channels accounted for a big proportion of share within the progress of advert quantity — virtually ₹three,000 crore. During the last couple of weeks, a variety of firms has been vocalising the necessity to promote judiciously on information channels primarily based not simply on rankings but in addition on content material high quality.

A prime government at a number one FMCG agency stated, “TRP is just not the one metric by which we take a choice to promote on TV channels. As an advertiser, one additionally seems on the type of content material, the feel and appear and the word-of-mouth notion and type of language utilized by a TV channel.”

(With inputs from Nandana James and Meenakshi Verma Ambwani)

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