Benita Chacko

National Broadcasting Policy to review audience measurement system structure

TRAI has conducted a pre-consultation to identify the focus areas and the detailed consultation paper is set to be out in the next few days.

The National Broadcasting Policy will review the structure of the audience measurement system so that more scientific data is available, said Anil Kumar Lahoti, chairman of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), at FICCI Frames 2024 in Mumbai.

“The current audience measurement system was devised long back and a very small sample is taken to measure the audience. Now with the advent of technology, there is an opportunity to review the structure. This can be utilised by the advertisers and the broadcasters for proper monetising of their content,” he said in a Fireside Chat with Harit Nagpal, CEO, Tata Play.

TRAI has conducted a pre-consultation to identify the focus areas and the detailed consultation paper is set to be out in the next few days. It will soon be discussing with all the stakeholders, including the consumers and the industry, on these issues, and then give its suggestions to the government.

Lahoti shared a comprehensive list of the various focus areas TRAI has identified. This includes encouraging the production and promotion of local content. “India has vast opportunities in producing content and not only for the country, but also to take it beyond the borders for the world,” he said.

It also intends to make India a global hub in content creation and content uplinking. 

It would also be dealing with strengthening the public service broadcasting. “It is very important for a country like India to have a very strong public service broadcasting system for dissemination of information, knowledge, education, and entertainment. So that the public service broadcasting delivers quality content and it is widely disseminated,” he said. 

Its other focus issues are to have growth in all the various multiple verticals of M&E sector and to make the regulatory climate and the policy environment more business friendly and promote the ease of doing business. It also includes enhancing the scope and leveraging the terrestrial broadcasting. 

The proposed policy will also look at combating piracy, content security and the protection of copyrights. It also intends to create an effective grievance redressal system and focus on sustainable development.

It is also looking at the role of broadcasting in case of disasters. “In the case of disaster, broadcasting has a very important role to play and we are looking at how that can be strengthened,” he said. 

Lahoti said they are expecting resistance from the stakeholders with regard to these areas. “Our job is to minimise the litigation. And for that purpose, we always have to talk to them and make them understand each other's point of view. The industry has to understand that there are no competing technologies, instead of fighting among themselves, they need to collaborate and cooperate,” he said. 

In July, the ministry of information and broadcasting had requested the regulatory authority to give its considered inputs for formulation of the policy. In September, TRAI consulted stakeholders on the issues that should be considered in the formulation of the proposed national broadcasting policy.

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