New Delhi: The crusade against Landing Page deals was initiated by tvnews4u.com with its exclusive coverage Next Big Headache: Broadcasters continue with Dual through Landing route and thearticle was an eye-opener for many. The outrage followed by that prompted I&B Ministry to direct BARC to stop the ratings of channels involving in Landing page deals. However, the latest direction from TRAI has finally rung the death-knell on the Landing Page deals.
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) today issued a direction to all the broadcasters and distributors of television channels to restrain from placing any registered satellite television channel, whose TV rating is released by TV rating agency, on the landing LCN or landing channel or boot up screen.
TRAI in its direction briefed the description of Landing Page deals stating that Landing channel or the landing page refers to the Logical Channel Number’ (LCN) which is displayed first when the set top box is switched-on. The landing page is normally used by the distributor of television channels for providing information to consumers and promotion of its distribution platforms. However, in recent past, a number of representations from stakeholders have been received wherein it has been reported that the practice of placing a registered satellite TV channel, whose TV rating is released by TV rating agency, on the landing page has the potential to affect the viewership data of that channel, and therefore it is susceptible to influence the television audience measurements television ratings.
The Authority has, on examination of the issue, reached to a conclusion that placement of registered TV channel, whose TV rating is released by TV rating agency, on landing page may affect orderly growth of the sector and is against the spirit of the policy guidelines for TV ratings agencies. Accordingly a direction is issued to all the broadcasters and distributors of television channels, to restrain from placing any registered satellite television channel, whose TV rating is released by TV rating agency, on the landing LCN or Landing channel or boot up screen. The broadcasters and distributors are required to comply with the direction with in fifteen days” added TRAI’s statement.
The Landing page deals were used by Broadcasters to spike up the ratings of their GECs during a new program launch or re-launch of the channel whereby they falsely project that the channel was well received by the viewers thus misleading the advertisers though it was not the case in reality.
Pocket rich broadcast networks were able to strike large-scale deals with MSOs thus denying a level playing field for the smaller players.