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We all grew up watching Television at some point in our lives. From black and white sets to 4K TV’s , from setting the antennas’ upstairs to subscriptions, from traditional DoorDarshan to Jio TV’s, the entertainment industry has come a long way. The one thing that remained unchanged all along is the term we have been listening to the most- TRP’s. Be it the prime time news broadcast, a soap opera or a bollywood glamsham event- TRP’s are the ultimate goal of a TV channel company. In this article, we will be talking about what TRP’s are, how they work and the way how Data Science acts as a key player behind the viewership ratings.

What are TRP’s?

TRP stands for Television Rating Point. It tells us which channel or program is being watched the most or which channel is being watched by many in the primetime of the locality. It also shows how regularly a show or channel has been watched (sometimes in a scheduled manner in case of daily programmes). TRP enables advertisers and investors to understand the mood of the people. According to the TRP of a TV Channel or programme advertisers decide where to display their advertisements and investors will decide about the investment of the money. So, TRP of a TV channel is a basic yet prominent USP of it. 

TRP is the metric of a TV channel in which the viewership is measured. For example, if the TRP rating of a show in a particular area of locality is 2, it means that 2% of the total TV owned population have watched that show/channel. 

Traditional TRP rating system in India

Do you know? The TRP’s in India are calculated by two well known organisations. They are ITNAM and DART namely. ITNAM stands for Indian Television Audience Measurement, while DART is Doordarshan Audience Research TV ratings. In the earlier times, DART was used to measure the TRP’s but later ITNAM is in charge of this. But even today, DART by Doordarshan still conducts random surveys, gets in touch with people about TV channels and TV programmes and also uses electronic methods to get viewership statistics. It mainly considers rural people as its target audience.

Methods used to calculate TRP

There are two electronic methods generally used to calculate the TRP’s. They are-

  1. People metres device: People metres device is installed in some places or set in selected homes to calculate the TRP. In this way, some thousand viewers are surveyed in the form of justice and sampling. These devices record data about the channel or programme watched by the family members or selected people. The ITNAM receives this data to analyse further. After analysing the information, the team decides what is the TRP of the channel or programme.

  2. Picture Matching : Picture matching where the people metre records a small portion of the picture that is being watched on the TV. This data is collected from some set of houses and is further sent to analyse to obtain the TRP’s based on that.  

How does TRP affect the TV channels

Increase or decrease in the TRP directly affects the income of the TV channel. Most of the TV channels we watch on a regular basis like Star, ZEE and Sony make money through their advertisements. And when the TRP of a channel is low, the clients are obvious to lower the charges they pay to the channel for advertising. In short, high the TRP, high the income of a channel through advertising. This is the reason TV channel managements are always running after high TRP’s.

What is TRP Rate?

The TRP rate is one metric on which the TRP of a TV channel is calculated. TRP of any channel or programme depends upon the programme that is being telecasted. It can be understood that when a film star arrives in a program for the promotion of his movie, the TRP of that programme increases automatically because people like to see that film star more.

Decoding Data Science behind the TRP- viewership ratings

As we read above about the Peoples meter used to measure the TRP’s, Data Science plays a crucial role in doing so. Here’s how Data Science comes into play in measuring the TRP’s.

  • Data collection and Management - Data science techniques are used to collect, store and analyse large amounts of data collected through People metres.

  • Sampling and extrapolation - Since People's Meters are installed only in a limited number of households, statistical methods are used to extrapolate this data to represent all the households in the vicinity. This involves some complex methods like statistical modelling and sampling techniques.

  • Data Analysis - The data is further analysed by data scientists to identify viewer preferences, behaviour and timely trends. This analysis helps broadcasters and TV channel management to understand audience behaviour better.

  • Predictive Modelling - Predictive Modelling is used by Data Scientists to foresee and predict the future viewership trends based on historical data. This also helps broadcasters and management to fix scheduling and programmes in future.

  • Target Audience Identification - Data science helps broadcasters and management to identify the demographics and preferences of an audience watching particular programmes. Thus, they could make a set of target audiences for their upcoming programmes.

Future Prospects

Learning Data science and mastering is as fascinating and fun as knowing about it. You could be a Data Science professional as well. People always have a question of how to become a Data Scientist without having some fundamentals of it as a prerequisite. We at CourseVita have Data Science courses with us, which helps learners master the concepts of Data Science from the very basic to advanced level of concepts, paving the way for your promising career in Data Science. Click here to check out our Data Science courses, tailor made for you to land your dream job in the broadcasting sector. With right mentorship and our personalized curriculum of Data Science you would be relatively a step nearer to your successful career with us, CourseVita.


TRP ratings are more than just numbers, they are the calculated product of sophisticated data analysis and precise statistical analysis. By leveraging the methods of data science, both the TV broadcasters and advertisers can have an advantage of gaining the insights into viewer behaviour, patterns and emerging trends- with which they can take a bit more informed decisions on programming, scheduling and advertising a product.

In conclusion, this is the way Data Science works undercurrent with the TRP rating system of the Indian Television industry and it's very much fascinating how an entertainment industry a century old-the Indian TV network works exceptionally well in an entangled way with the most latest of the industry trends, i.e., Data Science.

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