Television Audience Measurement and TRP Ratings

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  • Topic: Audience measurement, Nielsen Media Research, Television
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  • Published : August 11, 2012
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Group Assignment


Submitted on: 26.11.2010

Submitted to: Dr. Jayasimha K.R.

Group No. 12

Divya Priyanka Sinha (2010PGP106)

Gunajit Brahma (2010PGP117)

Jaipal Charan (2010PGP141)

Rajat Shuvra Sen (2010PGP288)

Rohit B Bele (2010PGP442)

Sankar Dutta (2010PGP336)

Soham Roy (2010PGP368)


In the light of some recent controversy over TRP ratings:

1) What are TRP ratings?

Television Rating Points - TRP is the criterion that indicates the popularity of a channel or programme and this data is very useful for the advertisers who bid their advertisements for a particular television slot based on the TRP of a program being aired at that slot. Television audience measurement (“TAM”) or television rating points (“TRP”), essentially calculate the popularity of a television programme by measuring the number of viewers a programme enjoys at a specific time. TRPs are invaluable in media planning since allocation of expenses is decided based on these figures.

2) What are the metrics measured to arrive at TRP ratings? The recent controversy revolves around the fact that the Union Information and Broadcasting Ministry has decided to take action against two reality shows-- “Bigg Boss 4 “ and “Rakhi ka Insaaf”. Colors and Imagine, the 2 channels, which telecast these shows respectively, have been reprimanded. The Ministry has asked all the channels to air such kinds of shows that have adult content, only between 11 p.m. and 5 p.m. The decision can be seen as a step to correct the changing definition of prime time viewing. Earlier dedicated to family dramas, this slot has now been taken over by reality shows. Such shows are currently seen as kingmakers (top TRP grabbers) in the television industry as these channels try to pull all strings to stay ahead in the game. Television Metrics in India have gone through several phases in which it fragmented, consolidated and then fragmented again. The different metrics used have been mentioned below-


During the days of the single channel Doordarshan monopoly, DART (Doordarshan Audience Research Team) was the only metric available. This used the notebook method of recordkeeping across 33 cities across India. DART continues to provide this information independent of the Private agencies. DART till this date is the only rating system that still measures audience metrics in Rural India.


In 1994, claiming a heterogeneous and fragmenting television market ORG-MARG introduced INTAM (Indian National Television Audience Measurement). Ex-officials of DD (Doordarshan) claimed that INTAM was introduced by vested commercial interests who only sought to break the monopoly of DD and that INTAM was significantly weaker in both sample size, rigour and the range of cities and regions covered.

In 1997, a joint industry body appointed TAM (backed by AC Nielson) as the official record-keeper of audience metrics. Due to the differences in methodology and samples of TAM and INTAM, both provided differing results for the same programs.

In 2001, a confidential list of households in Mumbai that were participating in the monitoring survey was released, calling into question the reliability of the data. This subsequently led to the merger of the two measurement systems into TAM. For several years after this, in spite of misgivings about the process, sample and other parameters, TAM was the de-facto standard and monopoly in the audience metrics game.


In 2004, a rival ratings service, funded by a slew of American NRI investors, called Audience Measurement Analytics Limited (aMap) was launched. Although initially, it faced a cautious uptake from clients, the TAM monopoly was broken.

aMap USP is that ratings are available as early as...
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