TRAI released their draft recommendations on the much debated ‘Television Rating Points’ measurement system on 24 July 2008. In the open house discussions earlier, the industry was divided over the control and management of the system. The Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF), Indian Society of Advertisers (ISA) and Advertising Agencies Association of India (AAAI) prefer to have a joint industry body to look after the matter without any government intervention where as Consumer bodies, Cable Operators Associations and MSOs feel the government control to some extent is necessary. Television Rating Points (TRPs) have been subject of much debate over issues on lack of transparency, inadequate sample size in terms of numbers as well as coverage in respect of platforms, some of the states and rural areas not getting any representation at all; leakage of panel homes which could lead to manipulated ratings, inadequate competition in rating services, and channels replicating content in their chase for higher TRPs to garner higher ad revenues. The viewer therefore, also becomes an important stakeholder in this business of ratings. There is thus a strong case for review of the present ratings system in India, both from the perspective of consumer welfare as well as to bring in greater transparency and its impact on competition in the market.
The spectacular growth of Indian Cable TV industry during the past two decades has been largely due to entrepreneurial skills of Cable TV operators.