Hack for TRAI

1822 Registered Allowed team size: 1 - 5

This campaign is over.

idea phase
starts on:
Sep 02, 2019, 03:30 AM
ends on:
Sep 29, 2019, 01:25 PM
starts on:
Oct 11, 2019, 10:30 PM
ends on:
Oct 13, 2019, 10:30 AM


The winners of this hackathon have been announced in the announcement section.

TRAI Webinar video


There are 197 million TV-owning homes in India, amounting to 836 million individuals that make up the TV viewing universe. Of this, approximately 600 million people watch TV every day. This medium offers a very wide and cost-effective reach across the length and breadth of the country.

There are 850+ licensed Satellite TV channels in the country, of which viewership of approximately 600 channels is being measured and reported weekly by the existing system managed and operated by BARC India(Broadcast Audience Research Council).

Accurate, credible and representative measurement of TV viewing is critical to growth and sustainability of the TV broadcast sector. Accurate viewership data is an important tool for the content creators as a good rating appreciates further quality content generation. Viewership data of TV channels indicates what people want to watch, not only at an aggregate level, but also reflects the choices of different gender, age group, socio-economic status, geography and language.

Viewership data also forms the currency basis for advertising. It also tells the marketers and advertisers where to place advertisements for most effective dissemination of their messaging. The significance of viewership data can be gauged from the fact that Rs. 30,500 crores of advertising money are spent annually on TV Platform (FICCI/EY Report 2019).

enter image description here

BARC India - a joint industry body, set up as per TRAI recommendations and Ministry of I&B Guidelines - is the agency that currently undertakes TV viewership measurement. BARC uses Audio Water-Marking technology in combination with a “BAROMETER” installed in selected households to identify which channel is being viewed in that home. Additionally, the viewers in those selected households are given a special remote which helps to identify who among the members of that household is watching TV for a particular duration of time and which TV channel as well as the particular program he/she is watching. These data are captured by the Barometer in the selected households and relayed back to the data processing system.

Like all TV markets across the globe, viewership measurement in India is also carried out on a representative sample basis survey. BARC India installs its BAROMETERS in a small panel of TV homes (currently at 40, 000 and to be scaled up to 50,000). These homes are carefully selected on the basis of an annual establishment survey, so that their viewership records can form an accurate representation of the TV viewing in the country and can be extrapolated/weighted accordingly.

More details of the current measurement system are available at https://barcindia.co.in/Description-Of-Methodology.aspx

Based on the experience of operation of the TV audience measurement system over the last 5 years (BARC India started reporting data in April 2015), TRAI has initiated a consultation process to understand how the current measurement system can be further improved in the context of the constant evolution of the sector and technological advancements. The objectives of the consultation and views of the stakeholders received are available at

https://main.trai.gov.in/sites/default/files/CP_TAM03122018.pdf and


This hackathon has been aimed at looking at the various technological options and finalising the optimal solution to capture the TV viewership data without/with least human interventions, and transferring it to a server over a secure network, without compromising the privacy and secrecy.

Hacking is building things that you always wanted to have but no one has built it yet. It's to come up with an amazing idea and work tirelessly on it. It is to fail, fail again and fail better. Try out new things and learn while doing that. It's to work together, collaborate and build things that are innovative. It is to be a better programmer.

With that spirit, TRAI is conducting a hackathon - Hack for TRAI and invites all developers and hackathon enthusiasts to participate in an interesting and engaging hackathon.


enter image description here

Collection of TV viewership data from households on a representative sample basis, maintaining the secrecy and privacy of households and transfer of data to remote server over secured network. Scope for scalability in terms of size and measurement of viewership in other platforms, so that viewership of non-linear platforms can also be captured.

enter image description here

Presently, TV Audience measurement is carried out by BARC India through watermarking technology and BAROMETERS which measures TV viewership. Viewership data collected by BAROMETERS is transferred to a server situated in BARC HQ, Mumbai.

Some solutions for collecting TV viewership data without human intervention could be:

Reverse Path Data (RPD)
The digital TV broadcasting services can be received by a subscriber using Set Top Box (STB) which is connected with the TV set (sometimes the STB is in-built in the TV set). The STB receives TV signals from distribution network and decodes them into viewable form on a TV set. STB enables the subscriber to view only those TV channels which he/she has subscribed. For viewing a channel, one has to select the channel number from the STB’s remote. STB decrypts the signals of the selected channel and forwards it for display on TV set. Therefore, a STB can provide information about whether a particular channel has been watched by a viewer and for how much duration, which can be used for the purpose of audience measurement. However, for the purpose of audience measurement, STB should be able to store the channel viewing data and transfer it to a central server for further processing for providing TV rating services, which is known in short as Reverse Path Data (RPD). Presently, most of the old STBs are not having return path capability and may store limited information or even no information at all. Some newer STBs are RPD enabled and are able to provide viewership data without any modification. Existing STBs can be made RPD enabled by adding suitable solution to record viewership data, storing required information and transmitting the data to a central server/device.

Apps/Software based solutions
Another method for audience measurement could be through Apps installed on Mobile phones/ smart watches/wearable devices. The App can record the audio of channels viewed by audiences and transmit this information to a central location through WiFi /mobile networks. At the central location a database containing recording of all the channels can be maintained, so that the information transmitted by the App can be matched to identify the channel viewed by audiences along with duration for which such channel is viewed.

Smart TVs
One method could be use of smart TVs for collecting viewership data. Smart TVs already have storage, USB ports and Wi-fi/LAN connectivity. A software may need to be put in smart TVs for recognition of TV channels being viewed along with time and duration of such viewing.

enter image description here

Your solution should devise optimal technological solution to capture the viewership data from the households and transfer it to a server over a secured protocol.

Your solution should be a technologically distinct and advanced one. Your solution may be a software application or a combination of software and hardware.

Your solution should only consider collection and transfer of data, you do not need to analyze and predict. Format of collected data should be according to industry need. Format/Parameters of data collection are:

• TV channel that is being viewed • What program/advertisement/other content is being viewed • Start time, end time, duration of viewing (including upto intervals of 5 secs) • Who is watching it? Details of viewer profile (Age, gender, socio-economic profile) • Geo location of the household/town class (Urban/Rural, Urban classification as per Census)

TV viewership data in India

TRAI is seeking views and solutions in this hackathon with regard to the following:

  1. Expanding the Sample size to make viewership data more accurate and representative, especially for smaller viewership channels, at all India and regional market levels
  2. Improved/Optimal technological solution to collect the viewership data and its transfer to a server location, without human intervention, while ensuring the privacy of households, and secrecy of the measurement process


Main Prizes
First Prize
INR 1,00,000
Second Prize
INR 50,000

Social Share

View All Notifications