TRAI consultation on placing of TV channel on landing page

tvTRAI has issued a consultation paper on issues related to placing of television channel on landing page to boost revenue.

The TRAI consultation paper follows the popular practice of running a channel on multiple LCNs allegedly for influencing television rating. Some broadcasters do this wrong practice in collusion with the distributors, who placed some television channels on multiple LCNs.

The landing channel or the landing page refers to the Logical Channel Number (LCN) which is displayed first when the Set Top Box (STB) is switched on.

As the TV channel ratings measurement is done on the basis of unique water mark ID of a channel, the data of viewership of all such multiple LCNs is aggregated and reflects in final ratings.

TRAI said that a channel available on more LCNs will have higher probability of viewership among TV audience.

This practice was later shifted to landing page and TRAI received complaints regarding the same.

The practice of placing a registered satellite TV channel having watermark ID on the landing page has the potential to affect the viewership data of that channel. It influences the television audience measurements and television ratings.

TRAI said the objective of this consultation paper is to initiate comprehensive consultations on all issues relating to landing page with an aim to protect the interest of the consumers and fair growth of the broadcasting sector.

Placing of a channel on landing page allows distributor to display a particular television channel for a predefined duration before the subscriber switches to another channel. Engineers can configure the predefined duration and TV users cannot flip channels during this period.

There is no possibility of placing any other channel on same LCN simultaneously since a Landing Page LCN is only one for a distributor. Distributors can change the program / channel in the landing page from time to time.

Presently there is regulatory framework to guide placement of TV channel in distributors network but there is no regulation stipulating criteria to place a channel on landing page. Channel companies are using landing page LCN for placing their television channel to show enhanced reach compared to other channels placed in other LCNs.

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