The committee set up by the information and broadcasting ministry to review the television rating point system, which evaluates the popularity of television programmes, has recommended increasing the sample size for viewership measurement from the present 8,000 homes to 30,000 in both rural and urban areas.
The committee, which submitted its report to Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni on Monday, has taken a serious view of the small sample size used by the two existing rating agencies in India.
It observed that rural areas have been left out from the current system of TRP measurement.
"Rural households are not covered at all under the present system, which immediately needs to be looked into", Amit Mitra, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry secretary general, said.
The committee recommended an increase in the sample size from 8,000 homes to 15,000 urban and rural households, over a period of two years and then to 30,000 over the next three years covering urban areas, rural areas and small towns besides Jammu and Kashmir and the North-East to provide a complete geographical coverage of the country.
To make the Broadcast Audience Research Corporation more inclusive, the committee further recommended broadening the constitution of the board.
The report said there should be a 12-member board in BARC, constituting seven members from broadcasters, including the Public Service Broadcasters, three members from advertisers and two members from advertising agencies, including directorate of advertising and visual publicity.
It has recommended constitution of a high-powered committee within BARC to guide BARC in the area of research, design and analysis.
Expressing concern over the lack of transparency in the methodology of conducting the TRP measurement, the committee said selection process of rating agency should be carried out in a credible, transparent and statistically robust manner, which should be subjected to financial and process audit.
There should be no cross-holding between the rating agencies and broadcasters, advertisers and the advertising agencies to avoid conflict of interest.
"This is a matter of great importance. The ministry will examine it in great detail." Mitra said the recommendations of the high-powered committee would be binding on the Bhaba Atomic Research Centre.