Television

TRAI issued notice on appeal by consumer body seeking proper regulation of ads on channels

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NEW DELHI: The Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) has issued a notice to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on a petition by a consumers body demanding the proper regulation of advertisements on cable and satellite television channels.

TDSAT said yesterday that it will hear the appeal after other related matters such as the appeal by the News Broadcasters Association have been heard.

Consumer group MediawatchIndia had approached TDSAT with an appeal that had sought to ‘remind TRAI of its statutory responsibility to check the illegal and unfair practices of television broadcasters who had been indulging in ‘part-screen’ and ‘high-decibel’ ads.’

The consumer group has complained that commercials played during programmes have a higher decibel level than the programme they are interrupting. Commercials as well as promotions of other shows keep appearing on the screen in the middle of the programmes thus distracting the viewer.

Mediawatch in its appeal sought to “challenge the abrupt, unilateral and mala fide act of TRAI in omitting sub-regulations 3(5) & 3(6) Standards of Quality of Service (Duration of Advertisements in Television Channels) Regulations 2012 that deals with “distracting formats of advertisements (part-screen and drop down ads, scrolls etc. interfering the main programme)” and “loud commercials (high audio levels of advertisements vis-?-vis that of programme).”

Mediawatch, earlier in June, made a representation before the Information and Broadcasting Ministry requesting action on the issue.

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