TRAI toughens stance on ad cap, seeks quarterly report

The regulator has taken cognizance of broadcasters failing to adhere to 10+2 ad cap. TRAI & broadcasters to meet today to sort out the issue

e4m by Abid Hasan
Updated: Apr 11, 2013 2:29 AM
TRAI toughens stance on ad cap, seeks quarterly report

Taking cognizance of the seriousness of the 10+2 ad cap issue and broadcasters failing to adhere to this ad cap, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has released a format for quarterly ad cap report to be submitted by the broadcasters.

The order under regulation 5 of the Standards of Quality of Service (Duration of Advertisements in Television Channels) Regulations, 2012 (15 of 2012), specifies the format for submission of details of advertisements carried by the broadcasters on their television channels and demand updates on a quarterly basis about the implementation of ad breaks during the clock hour.

As per the reporting requirement, the TRAI order states, “Every broadcaster shall, within 15 days from the end of a quarter, submit to the Authority, in the format specified by it, details of advertisements carried on their channel.”

The newly introduced format requires broadcasters to submit details of the ad aired, name of the broadcaster, report for the quarter and names of the television channels.

Broadcasters are required to submit the reports on advertisement duration during clock hours on the first Saturday and Sunday and the last Wednesday and Thursday of each month of the quarter. For all the days of the quarter, excluding the days specified above, the maximum duration of the advertisements in any clock hour for each day of the quarter reported upon needs to be provided.

Meanwhile, on the condition of anonymity, one of the senior members of TRAI said, “This regulation of the Cable TV Act has been in existence since 2006 and there is no change in that. We (TRAI) had only introduced the issue regarding quality of service last year, but witnessed that there is no implementation of ad cap from the broadcasters’ side. We are waiting for the quarterly reports in coming few days and will take this forward.”

It may be recalled that in an earlier conversation with exchange4media, Man Jit Singh, CEO, MSM and President, Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF) had said, “The industry is dependent on advertisements, 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 that will have consumer and broadcaster interests equally balanced.”

On the ad duration, Singh had said, “Initially, we want to start with a little higher number like 12+2 and after over a period of time we can approach 10+2.”

IBF is trying to work in such a manner that both the industry and consumers are protected and is striving to come up with a solution that is acceptable to all the stakeholders.

When asked about the possibility of amendment in the quality of service regulation, the TRAI member remarked, “I am not sure about any option of technical possibility, but will consider this and get back.”

When asked about the current status of dialogue with TRAI, the IBF President said, “We are going to meet TRAI today (Thursday, April 11).”

While the matter is sub judice, broadcasters have shown willingness to sort out the issue outside the court. The meeting between the broadcasters and TRAI Chairman Rahul Khullar on April 11 is seen as a step in the right direction towards finding an amicable solution to the contentious ad cap issue.

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