TRP ratings in India- do they reflect the real popularity ?

TRP ratings are approximate values Television Rating Points or TRP is a criterion that determines how popular a channel is. This is a very useful medium for a programme producer to judge how well his/her show is doing. This is also very useful information for advertisers. In a country where various channels telecast vast number of programmes and people from all backgrounds watch them it becomes very difficult to determine which programme is the most popular and which is the least.

How the popularity is measured ?

Currently, Indian Television Audience Measurement (INTAM) is the agency that finds out the ratings. There are two techniques devised to determine the ratings. The first one is quite costly. By using this technique, a device called ‘people meters’ is installed in a few homes. This equipment reads frequencies and prepares a data that indicates the ratings. This technique is misleading many times as the cable operators tend to change the frequencies before sending signals.

The second technique employed is more reliable. This is also a newer technique for India. The ‘people meter’ records pictures too of the programme being watched. All the sample data is then matched with the pivotal data holder medium. This helps them know the channel and programme being watched the most. Hence this is a more dependable way of knowing the TRPs.

People Meter records the watching habit Goofs in the Rating System

The real question that arises here is whether these TRP ratings really reflect the truth? The answer to this question is that they could be incorrect due to errors while doing the sampling. Another important thing here is that the ratings are measured in the top sixteen cities of nine states in India.This may not include the choices of people from lower middle class or people of comparatively smaller towns.

These ratings also don’t include the very elite classes too. The people of the elite classes are more used to watching English channels and the lower middle class is more into daily soaps and the serials that are based on stories of people from villages.

Not all True

So these ratings are not absolutely true or have a correct reflection of viewing habits of all kinds of people in the society. If the viewing habits of middle class, lower class and elite class is mixed together a very genuine and close to real ratings will come up in the hands of INTAM and thus the programme producers and advertisers.

It is also true that accurate ratings can never be estimated as it is not possible to reach every house to know their viewing habits. So the method adopted to take out the ratings is what the technicians feels is best. Advertisers and producers do get a good picture of where they stand in the fierce competition of the media industry.

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