TRPs need to be made more transparent: Ambika Soni

In an interview with’s Swati Chaturvedi on her chat show Kahiye Janab, Union I&B Minister Ambika Soni spoke on TAM ratings.

Updated: Aug 18, 2012, 20:30 PM IST

Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi: In an interview with’s Swati Chaturvedi on her chat show Kahiye Janab, Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni spoke on TAM ratings and its methodology.

“I am not a person who would keep my eyes closed to the wrongs that are happening in the Indian television industry,” Soni said.

She added, “Broadcasters say that TRP is their guiding measurement. I would have to see that this measurement is free of flaws and how it could be made more transparent.”
Threatening stringent government action if self correctors were not put in place by the stake holders, the minister said, “Broadcasters say that Television Rating Points are responsible for the entertainment driven shoddy content on their channels; it is my duty to see that the ratings are transparent. I am not prepared to shut my eyes and look the other way while a racket prevails.”

Explaining the data collection by TAM Soni said, “There are only 7000 boxes put in place by TAM which monitor only 36,000 TV viewers. States like UP and Bihar and all rural areas are excluded in this so called research.”

“Can 36,000 people decide what 121 crore people want to watch on television?” she asked.
Soni said that “media and entertainment industry is growing at 12-18 percent (as per industry report). It is important that all stake holders get a level playing field.”

Soni held that “BARC (Broadcast Audience Research Council) is the only solution. It should be established and should have representatives from the industry, advertising agencies and broadcasters and here Doordarshan and DAVP should also be a part of the association and they should collectively supervise.”

Soni’s remarks came in the wake of a leading English news channel filing a case where they want USD 580 million for negligence, a minimum of USD 810 million for fraud and millions more on other counts including legal fees in a court in the United States.