IBF concerned over TRAI’s mandate for quarterly ad cap report

In order to monitor 10+2 ad cap compliance, b’casters are mandated to report the duration of advertisement carried in their channels on quarterly basis

e4m by Abid Hasan
Updated: Mar 28, 2013 8:04 PM
IBF concerned over TRAI’s mandate for quarterly ad cap report

Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has once again raised the 10+2 ad cap issue. Last month TRAI issued a notice to broadcasters asking them to provide reasons for not implementing the ad cap limit during their shows. The broadcasters were given time till March 10, 2013 to send in their replies. Couple of days ago, TRAI had asked the broadcasters to provide a quarterly report on the duration of advertisement carried in their channels.

TRAI said, “This regulation mandates the broadcasters to restrict the duration of advertisements in their channels to a maximum of 12 minutes in any given clock hour as prescribed in the existing rules. In order to monitor and ensure compliance of these regulations, broadcasters are now also mandated to report the duration of advertisement carried in their channels to authority on quarterly basis in a proforma by the authority.”

This has added to broadcasters’ worries who have been opposing the 10+2 ad cap ever since it was first ruled by TRAI in May 2012.

Man Jit Singh, CEO, MSM and President IBF said, “The industry is dependent on advertisement but we don’t disagree with TRAI’s regulation. We want to implement this in a phased manner. We want to have a dialogue with TRAI and come up with a solution which will have consumer and broadcaster interest equally balanced.”

Explaining the phase duration, he said, “Initially we want to start with a little higher number like 12+2 and after over a period of time we will approach 10+2.”

IBF is trying to work in such a manner that industry and consumer both will be protected and there will be some solution which is manageable and acceptable by all the stakeholders.

When asked about the current situation of the case in the court, he replied, “We prefer to find solutions among ourselves because court is the last resource.”

Talking to exchange4media, Rajat Sharma, Chairman, India TV and Vice President, IBF said, "TRAI restrictions on advertisements sounds like a death warrant for news channels; we are already on death bed due to heavy carriage, low ad rates and lack of subscription revenue. Limiting inventory to 10+2 ad cap per hour will suffocate news channels."

Deeply concerned about TRAI’s advertisement regulation notification, The Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF) said, “Like several industries that continue to reel from the aftereffects of the global economic recession, India’s television broadcasting industry has been suffering too. The industry is largely dependent on advertising revenues for its economic sustenance. IBF has been working with TRAI over the last several months to arrive at a way forward on the quantum of advertising duration. Its fundamental stance has always been to self-regulate, aligned with globally practiced standards.”

Considering the seriousness of the matter, broadcasters will be arranging meetings shortly with TRAI Chairman Rahul Khullar.

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