Government may ban Airtel from publishing return path data


The I&B Ministry has sent a show cause notice to Airtel regarding the commercial launch of Return Path Data for viewers.

The ministry is expecting a response from Major Paying DTH this week and any further action will be taken in accordance with existing guidelines, P Nagarajan, Under Secretary (BP&L) told

It is learned that the Ministry has taken action after receiving an official communication from Prasar Bharati stating that no player can be allowed to release the TV audience without obtaining accreditation under the Policy Guidelines for Rating Agencies of television in India notified by the ministry on January 10, 2014. .

Under these guidelines, the industry-led body BARC was accredited by the MIB on July 28, 2015 to conduct TV ratings in India.

Airtel had launched the commercial release of RPD data collected through its Xstream hybrid set-top boxes a month before the return of the BARC rankings for the news genre.

Ministry sources told that Tata Sky is also on the government’s radar as it shares viewership patterns with Star India.

It should be noted that the government had formed a joint task force led by Prasar Bharati CEO Shashi Shekhar Vempati on January 13, 2022. The group is expected to submit its report next month on different aspects of data capture, including including GDPR in the context of audience measurement, international practices, audience data security, etc.

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