Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has made recommendations on the television audience measurement in India. The Authority has concluded that for the present, self regulation may work best for television ratings. Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC), can be recognized as the institutional framework. Once BARC starts functioning, the inadequacies of the present system will have to be effectively addressed with the I&B Ministry.
The recommendations include initiation of activities by BARC by January 2009 and two nominees of the Ministry of I&B on the Board of Directors of BARC. The Technical Committee within BARC is to guide and supervise the various processes of ratings and to include nominees from the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER) and Indian Statistical Institute (ISI), Kolkata. BARC is not to undertake audience measurement directly and to resort to an open, transparent bidding process for the various stages involved in the rating process;
The other recommendations include the request for proposal inviting bids from the rating agencies to be finalized by BARC after duly considering the eligibility conditions and performance obligations as provided by the Ministry of I&B from time to time. BARC's technical committee to decide the sample size and the sample to cover different platforms, including terrestrial / Prasar Bharati channels, cable and satellite platforms, rural and urban areas, and all the states. No single company/ legal person, either directly or through its associates shall have substantial equity (more than 10%) holding in more than one rating agency. A promoter company/ legal person/ directors of rating agency cannot have stakes in broadcaster, advertiser and advertising agency either directly or through its associates. Similarly, a broadcaster, advertiser or advertising agency shall also not have any stake in rating agencies.
TRAI also suggested comprehensive mandatory audit of the rating system to be carried out at least once in three years and selection of at least two bidders for each stage of the activity in the rating process.