Role of TRP in Television World
Television Rating Point (TRP) is a tool provided to evaluate which programs are viewed the most. This gives advertisers and investors an idea of the choice of the people as well as the popularity of a particular channel. TRP also helps them understand the mood of the people.
It shows exactly how many times people are watching a channel or a particular show. According to the TRP of a TV Channel or show, advertisers will decide where to show their advertisements and the investors will decide about the investment of the cash. The people meter system is the most reliable system of measuring TRP. People Meter is a ‘box’, that’s as big as a paperback book. People meters are installed in sample homes, they are attached to each television set and it comes with a remote control unit. They then record TV programs and the duration that they are watched. The remotes used in these homes have a button for each member in the family and when these buttons are pressed, it records which and how many members of that family are watching a program. The data that is collected from sample homes are matched with the main data bank and the rankings are fixed for every channel.
But TRPs are not completely reliable. For instance, in India, Television Audience Measurement (TAM) Media Research, is the only company whose rating of viewership of programs is considered by the advertising and broadcasting industry. TAM has supposedly installed people meters in 7,200 homes across 148 cities in India. But they have received criticism for distributing meters and reflecting viewership only in urban areas while the use of television in rural areas is increasing every day. This leads to a lower flow of advertising funds to some channels. Advertisers and broadcasters have also complained about the lack of transparency in TAM’s ratings and even though TAM claimed to follow a statistical method to grant TRPs, there is no way anyone can monitor it because the information is confidential about cities and homes in which people meters are installed.
Channels are obsessed with TRPs because the higher a channel’s rating is, the more ads and sponsorships they receive. The ratings now guide content makers on program strategies, storylines, and even editorial decisions, that are slowly becoming a vicious trap for Indian broadcasters. With a biased rating done, the very few channels and programs that claim to be the top-ranked are not completely true. This affects small channels, programs, and a complete outlook on what the audience wants.
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