Very often we hear people talking about the TRP of a TV channel or programme increasing. What does it mean? How is TRP estimated?

TRP is a metric used to measure the reach of the television. Standing for Television Rating Point, TRP tells us which programme or channel is viewed the most. TRP indicates how popular a show or channel is. The higher the TRP, the wider the viewership. In other words, TRPs indicate how many people watched which programmes or channels for how long during a particular period.

How does TRP help?

TRP helps advertisers know the pulse of the audience. Advertisements being a costly investment, advertisers need to ensure maximum reach of their ads for the benefit of their product. According to the TRP of a programme or channel, they decide where to display their ads. Higher TRP means bigger audience and more money from advertisers.

How is it measured?

The Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) India, a joint industry body represented by advertisers, ad agencies and broadcasters, carries out television ratings in India. It has installed a device called BAR-O-meter in over 40,000 households across the country to measure viewership of hundreds of channels. The device tracks the shows being watched and provides data on viewership patterns across age and socio-economic groups. The panel households are assumed to be representative of the country’s population and this sampling helps estimate the viewing patterns of crores of viewers.

Every Thursday, BARC releases data comparing the viewership of varied programmes and channels. However, it has announced a three-month suspension of ratings of news channels following the latest TRP manipulation scam.


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