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127 pay channels violate TRAI's 12-min ad cap rule; B4U Movies and IBN Lokmat aired maximum duration of advertisements in non-news and news list respectively

23-February-2017
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127 pay channels violate TRAI's 12-min ad cap rule; B4U Movies and IBN Lokmat aired maximum duration of advertisements in non-news and news list respectively

Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has announced that 127 pays channels (104 non-news and 23 news) have violated the 12-minute ad cap rule of the authority during June 27, 2016 to September 25, 2016.

Among the non-news channels, B4U Movies (owned by B4U Television Network India) on an average aired maximum of 25.79 minutes of advertisements per hour during peak hours (7 pm to 10 pm) according to the data uploaded on the official website of TRAI. This is the third time in a row when B4U Movies failed to comply with the rule. It had previously violated the rule for the period March 28, 2016 to June 26, 2016 and December 28, 2015 to March 27, 2016.

It was followed by SUN TV airing 17.64 minutes on an average. The list also included several GECs, English movie, and Hindi movie channels such as Star Plus (15.50 minutes), Colors (13.97 minutes), Star Movies (14.85 minutes), and Set MAX (15.86 minutes), among others.

In the case of news channels, IBN Lokmat (owned by IBN Lokmat News) led the list with 21.76 minutes of advertisements per hour on an average. It was followed by ETV UP (owned by Panorama Television) airing 20.14 minutes. Previously, ETV Rajasthan (owned by Panorama Television) topped that list with 21.96 minutes of advertisements per hour on an average for the period March 28, 2016 to June 26, 2016. English pay news channels like NDTV Profit and CNN IBN continue to feature in the list with 16.43 and 14.04 minutes of advertisements per hour on an average, respectively.

TRAI mentioned that the rest of the pay channels (non-news and news) are carrying less than 12 minutes of average duration per hour of advertisements (commercial and self-promotional) during peak hours (7 pm to 10 pm).

For the previous time frame, 137 pays channels (112 non-news and 25 news) have violated the 12-minute ad cap rule of the authority between March 28, 2016 and June 26, 2016.

The 12-minute ad cap rule was set up by TRAI in 2013, restricting TV channels (news and non-news) from showing advertisements exceeding 12 minutes per hour (10 minutes of commercial advertisements and two minutes of self-promotions by the channel). After being challenged by the broadcasters, the ad cap matter is sub judice in the Delhi High Court.

The rule on advertising limits was set up after TRAI received complaints from viewers on the long ad breaks. However, in December 2013, News Broadcasters’ Association (NBA), the representative body of news channels, and certain TV channels like 9X Media, Sun TV Network, and B4U Broadband filed a petition against the rule. But the case has been adjourned time and again on the plea that the government and the broadcasters are in talks on this issue. The matter is due in Delhi High Court on April 20, 2017.

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