Television rating unreliable, says media expert

BHOPAL NOV. 9. The chairman of Centre for Media Studies (CMS), N. Bhaskar Rao, today questioned the relevance of Television Rating Points (TRP) while emphasising that TRP was totally unreliable in a heterogeneous country like India.

Dr. Rao told mediapersons "we are in a TRP trap'', adding it was a shame that we had allowed the TRP to gain importance. How can you measure 200 people in cities such as Mumbai and Delhi to come up with statistics depicting television ratings and viewers' choice across the country. The TRP is a joke that has now become a standard, he said. However, SUN TV and ETV had disapproved this notion by adopting a proactive strategy and realising their grass-roots moorings, he said.

Dr. Rao said the TRP had misled domestic television entrepreneurs, and as a result, a large part of our television industry was now panicky. Stressing the "appetiser effect" of TV, he said the more one viewed TV news, the more he read newspapers. It was his contention that the successful newspapers were now concentrating more on crisp, short and consolidated news items.

A note by Dr. Rao, which was circulated among mediapersons, said the "double edged'' media could also become a source of negative action. Instead of providing insights, it could also incite people, he cautioned.

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