10+2: TDSAT will not disappoint b'casters with its Oct 31 hearing - Stakeholders

The TV industry believes that TDSAT is likely to give an extension to the norm citing the macro-economic scenario, but it would certainly ask for more accountability in advtg

e4m by Abhinav Trivedi
Updated: Oct 21, 2013 7:38 AM
10+2: TDSAT will not disappoint b'casters with its Oct 31 hearing - Stakeholders

The television industry might get some clarity on the 10+2 ad cap, which has been the bone of contention and debate for the past few months, on October 31 as TDSAT has scheduled the hearing of the appeals filed by some broadcasters and their representative communities against the TRAI order.

TDSAT had earlier scheduled the hearing for news broadcasters on November 11 and some music broadcasters on October 21. Both the hearings were then deferred to October 31.

We spoke to few key industry stakeholders urging them to share their thoughts on the ad cap and the likely turn of events. Most of them spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitive nature of the issue.

A marketing head of a leading channel said, “It is a policy of wait and watch. I feel that citing the economic scenario, TDSAT will not disappoint broadcasters. The 10+2 ad cap is not a wrong decision, but the timing is certainly wrong. Therefore, it should be a win-win situation for everybody.”

A broadcaster stated, “I think we would get an extension for another 15-20 days. TDSAT would hear the matter again. There have been so many turbulences this year in the industry that we are not in a position to take losses on revenue front. TDSAT hearing the petition and asking TRAI not to take coercive action till hearing, to an extent implies that TDSAT understands the gravity of the situation.  Most of the broadcasters, although supporting the norm, are against the timing.”

Media lawyer and analyst, Yaresh Kothwani said, “Let the broadcasters earn subscription revenues. Everything has to be backed by logic and business sense. Many channels would shut down if TDSAT upholds the TRAI order, along with huge losses of the revenue for the industry. But at the end of the day, there certainly needs to be control and accountability over advertisements served by channels. Consumer is the king and TDSAT would certainly take that into account.”

Many experts believe that even if a decision is not taken on the destined date, it would certainly lead to some clarity and that in itself would be a big development.

Most stakeholders are confused over the implementation of the cap with some broadcasters claiming to follow the cap but running 12 minutes of commercial advertising and in some cases even following the 12+2 format. Many broadcasters have repeatedly said that a stay order on one player should be applicable to everybody, and that ruling cannot be different for each one.

But stakeholders have mentioned that TDSAT would also take TRAI’s viewpoint into consideration regarding consumer complaints of too many advertisements. Therefore, the decision would be balanced and TDSAT would ask for more accountability and discipline from broadcasters even as it holds the TRAI decision.


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