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January 2019

TRAI: NO CHANNELS ON LANDING PAGE



TRAI has directed that the landing page should not carry any registered TV channel whose rating is being measured. The direction must be implemented in all cases by 31 March 2019 & efforts made to implement it even earlier.

Incidentally, TRAI had issued a similar direction on 8th November 2017.

The direction was challenged at the TDSAT which stayed the implementation of the direction. Subsequently, the stay was repealed, with instructions to TRAI to reconsider the matter.


ANOTHER CONSULTATION

TRAI issued a consultation paper on "Issues related to Placing of Television Channel on Landing Page" on the 3rd April, 2018 seeking comments /suggestions of all the stakeholders & held an open house discussion (OHD) with the stakeholders in May.






LANDING ALTERS TRP

Based on the stakeholder's submissions & analysis of the data obtained from distributors and Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC), TRAI concluded that placing channel on the landing page influences Television ratings & provides a distinct advantage to such a channel in the measured viewing sessions.

The landing page placement thus jeopardises the accuracy and credibility of the TV rating system.

BARC also briefed TRAI that it was not possible (due to technical limitations) to remove the influence of the landing page on the viewership ratings. The BARC system simply identifies the unique channel watermark embedded in each channel, and reads the watermark, whether it's on the landing page or the channel's LCN (Logical Channel Number).

TRAI also explored other options such as restrictions on the landing LCN settings, modifying configuration in the middleware to put landing page as a last visited page and mandating distributors to place only consumer-related information on landing LCN.

However, these alternatives are either not feasible due to technical limitations in various types of distributor's networks or impact their commercial interests.

It hence decided to disallow carriage of any viewership monitored channel on the landing page. n