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

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

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has announced that 137 pays channels (112 non-news and 25 news) have violated the 12-minute ad cap rule of the authority between March 28, 2016 to June 26, 2016.

Among the non-news channels B4U Movies (owned by B4U Broadband India Pvt. Ltd) on an average aired maximum of 24.54 minutes of advertisements per hour during peak hours (7pm and 10pm) according to the data uploaded on the official website of TRAI. In the case of news channels, ETV Rajasthan (owned by Panorama Television Pvt. Ltd) topped that list with 21.96 minutes of advertisements per hour on an average. Co-incidentally these two channels happen to top the lists TRAI came out with for the period between December 28, 2015 and March 27, 2016. This list includes English pay news channels like NDTV Profit and CNN IBN, popular GECs like Sun TV, Star Plus, SAB and Colors and movie channels like Movies Now, Star Movies, Zee Cinema and SET MAX among others, who have failed to comply with the above rule

TRAI mentioned that 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 (7pm-10pm).

The 12 minutes 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 about the long ad breaks.  However, in December 2013, the 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 so far been adjourned from time to time on the plea that the government and the broadcasters are in talks on this issue. The matter is due in Delhi high court on January 12, 2017.


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