Government to set up Broadcasting Authority


New Delhi: Moving beyond the contentious debate about content regulation, the government is looking at setting up a Broadcasting Authority of India, a nodal agency that would look into issues like foreign investment, digitalisation and a fresh TV rating mechanism (TRP).

Support TwoCircles

We are looking at setting up an authority which looks after other broadcasting issues, Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni told reporters here Monday.

“Content is not the only issue. This new body will deal with issues like TRP, digitalisation and FDI in media,” said Soni.

Some of the names being considered for the new body includes Broadcasting Authority of India, she said, adding that a task force has been set up for this purpose.

The information and broadcasting ministry thought of a new nodal agency to address critical broadcasting concerns as the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), to which it referred these issues for advice, was not able to respond quickly.

With a spate of complaints coming in about the misuse of TV rating points(TRPs) to drive up competition among TV networks, the government is also considering setting up a body that could flesh out a more representative audience research mechanism, said Soni.

The TRAI has recommended setting up of Broadcasting Audience Research Council (BARC) which will go into the flaws of the existing TRP system and suggest a more acceptable and accurate alternative.

Alluding to the dragging debate about a content code for electronic media, Soni said: “We are working towards a mechanism of co-regulation,” she said. She added that her ministry has held several meetings with stakeholders on this issue, but was in no hurry to push the pace of evolving consensus on the issue.