TRAI moves to put an end to placing registered channels on landing page
Taking on the issue of landing page, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has issued a directive asking all broadcasters and distributors not to place any registered TV channel, whose TV rating is released by TV rating agency, on the landing LCN or landing channel or boot up screen.
The regulator stated that a number of representations from stakeholders had been received, wherein it was reported that the practice of placing a registered TV channel on the landing page had the potential to affect he viewership data of that channel, and therefore, it was susceptible to influence the television audience measurement.
TRAI observed that the viewership data or TV rating information of a channel plays a vital role in advertiser decisions and orderly growth of the sector.
TRAI further said that on examination of the issue, it had reached the conclusion that placement of registered TV channel, whose TV rating is released by TV rating agency, on the landing page may affect orderly growth of the sector and is against the spirit of policy guidelines for TV ratings agencies. It added that such practice captures audience viewership impressions which are not due to natural choice of the consumers, therefore, susceptible to show higher television rating to the channel involved in such practice.
The regulator called such practice “discriminatory” and “anti-consumer” and said that it put other broadcasters in disadvantageous position, leading to a non-level playing field in the TV broadcasting sector. “Such practice is susceptible to false viewership data, which creates market distortions,” TRAI added.
The broadcasters and distributors are required to comply with the directive with 15 days.