10+2 ad cap: Select channels play 12 mins of commercial ads instead of 10 mins

Few channels complying with 10+2 are utilising all 12 mins for commercial ads. Till a strong decision is not taken, every b'caster will customise the norm, and confusion will prevail

e4m by Abhinav Trivedi
Updated: Oct 9, 2013 8:21 AM
10+2 ad cap: Select channels play 12 mins of commercial ads instead of 10 mins

With 10+2 ad cap partly in place from October 1, various strategies and tactics are being used by different broadcasters to garner maximum benefits. One of them is playing with the number of minutes.

TRAI in its mandate under ‘Standards of quality of service’ dated March 22, 2013 had highlighted that channels are required to follow the advertising code of the Cable Television Networks Rule (CTNR), 1994.  Section 11 of the advertising code in the QOS mandate above states, “No programme shall carry advertisements exceeding 12 minutes per hour, which may include up to 10 minutes per hour of commercial advertisements, and up to 2 minutes per hour of a channel’s self-promotional programmes”.

However, some channels have been implementing 12 minutes of commercial advertising in an hour instead. A senior spokesperson of one of the channels mentioned, “It is 12+2 and not 10+2 minutes.”

As reported earlier by exchange4media, some broadcasters in the past were lobbying for 12+2 ad cap instead of 10+2 from October.

“Some sections of the broadcasting community had got a stay order against the implementation of the cap from October 1.The matter is under scrutiny and TDSAT is likely to look into the matter in November. Now if a mandate has been issued for some broadcasters, it applies to all. One cannot categorise the broadcasters. There is a genuine ambiguity on the issue. If a broadcaster is playing 12 minutes of commercial ad, there is nothing wrong in it. Firstly, the step (of implementing ad cap in any way) is voluntary and secondly, it is in compliance with the TRAI norm of 12 minutes. 12+2 is not illegal,” a senior broadcast professional shared on condition of anonymity.

Experts we spoke to on have said that ad cap is a slow process and will take its own time. Most of the highly placed industry officials are uncertain about the future, and only designated officials are taking calls on the issue.

While certain broadcasters are complying with the norm, among them 12+2 minutes of advertising has also been reported. A broad consensus is yet to evolve, but industry insiders have revealed that till an affirmative or strong decision is not taken by the regulator or the concerned authority, every broadcaster will customise the norm, and confusion will prevail.

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