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Can TRP be hacked using Artificial Means? TRP Explained

Do you know about TRP? Of course, you have heard about it. In fact, you hear every day about it. Let’s take a deeper look into this. Can TRP be hacked or about TRP manipulation?

What does TRP actually mean?

TRP means Television Rating Point. It is a tool which indicates the popularity of a television program. It is used to judge which television program is viewed most. This gives an index of the choice of the people and shows the popularity of the particular program. A program with higher Television Rating Points indicates that the program is viewed by a large number of the viewer.

In simple words, we can say that anyone who watches television for more than a minute is called a viewer and this TRP metrics are used by advertisers and marketers to evaluate the viewership in the country. Its data is very useful for the advertisers because they place their advertisements during the programs with higher TRPs.

How is TRP calculated?

An industry body BARC (Broadcast Audience Research Council) installs a device named BAR-O-meters are installed in 44,000 households across the country. It is calculated by INTAM. It stands for Indian Television Audience Measurement as it is the only agency which is working in the area of Television Rating Points calculation.

It works on two methods:

1) Frequency Monitoring Method

To calculate TRP using this method, a device BAR-O-meters is attached to the TV sets(with set-up box) in 44,000 people household to judge the viewership of the country. It records the time and programme which you are watching on a particular day.
After that, an average is taken for a 30-day period to know viewership status. People’s meter is a very costly device which is imported from abroad.

2) Picture Matching Technique

In this technique, People’s meter continuously records a small portion of the picture that is watched on a particular television set. After that data is collected from the sample homes and used to calculate the national rating. This technique is more reliable and comparatively new in India.

However, TRP doesn’t give the exact count or viewership. This is only estimations based on the average taken from the People’s Meter or either by the survey. There are some loopholes in this process.

Loopholes in the TRP method

Several questions have been raised about the working of the TRP and as we know that this process does not show the actual viewership. There are several loopholes in the TRP method. It has been seen in past days that households are being paid to manipulate the TRP and you might be thinking why they would do so?

According to the reports, almost 70% of the revenue for the T.V channels comes from the advertisers and rest 30% comes from the subscriptions so the channel having the highest Television Rating Points will get more advertisers and more profit will be there. However, TRP manipulation is a crime.

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