News channels fail to adhere to self-regulated ad duration

Despite opting for 21 mins of free commercial timing for Hindi news channels & 18 mins for English news channels, violation of ad duration continues

e4m by Abid Hasan
Updated: May 16, 2013 8:24 PM
News channels fail to adhere to self-regulated ad duration

News channels don’t seem to be practicing what they preach. In a mutual decision taken a couple of days back, news channel broadcasters had opted for 21 minutes of free commercial timing for Hindi news channels and 18 minutes for English news channel.

However, an analysis of the ad breaks during a clock hour or programming shows that news channels such as India TV, Aaj Tak and Zee News are continuing with their earlier schedule of ad breaks, which exceed the self-regulated ad duration. Meanwhile, some channels which do not have much inventory are going around 18-20 minutes of ads.

India TV is airing six ad breaks of around 4 minutes duration each in one clock hour, which totals 24 minutes of ads. Zee News, on the other hand, is going for 20 minutes of pure client advertisements and 3 minutes of channel promos. Aaj Tak is airing 27 minutes of advertisements.

Though violation of ad cap is continuing since its inception but broadcasters mutual discussion also doesn’t seem to work. The violation of new ad cap which is 21 and 18 has been underplayed since yesterday.

In an earlier conversation with exchange4media, a leading broadcaster had shared that the fixed commercial time (FCT) will now be 18 minutes of ads plus 3 minutes of promos for Hindi news channels, and 15 minutes of ads and 3 minutes of promos for English news channels.

Another broadcaster, on conditions of anonymity, said, “We have started the trial of this new ad break schedule a few days back and the same will be applicable in a full-fledged manner from May 15 onwards. In order to apply the new advertisement timings, we have cut down our inventory as well.”

With the implementation of the new commercial timings, news channels will be cutting down 10 minutes from the earlier ad breaks.

However, even a day after the new ad break schedule came into effect, there seem to be no end to the violations. It remains to be seen what steps broadcasters take to ensure the implementation of the ad break schedule, or whether this system will fall flat.

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