Regulators

Ad cap case adjourned to 24 March

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NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court today adjourned the petition by the News Broadcasters Association (NBA) and others challenging the advertising cap of 12 minutes per hour sought to be imposed by the government to 24 March.

The bench was unable to hear the case today in view of the pendency of large number of part-heard matters.

The assurance given by TRAI to not take any action against any channel pending the petition, will continue and the Court has, at the regulator's instance, directed that all channels to keep a record of the advertisements run by them. It can be noted that the ad cap case was adjourned to 21 January, 2015 when it last came up for hearing on 20 November, 2014.

During the hearing on 25 September, NBA counsel Nisha Bhambani had sought adjournment in view of the senior counsel S Ganesh not being in Delhi.

Earlier on 15 July, the Court had adjourned the case as the final hearing of the bunch of petitions challenging the ad cap sort to be imposed by TRAI as the authority had not finalised its rejoinder.

The case had been previously heard in the High Court on 17 December, 2013 and 13 March, 2014.

The NBA had challenged the ad cap rule, contending that TRAI does not have jurisdiction to regulate commercial airtime on television channels.

Apart from the NBA, the petition have been filed by Sarthak Entertainment, Pioneer Channel Factory, E24 Glamoru, Sun TV Network, TV Vision, B4U Broadband, 9X Media, Kalaignar, Celebrities Management, Eanadu Television and Raj Television.

The news and regional broadcasters fear that the capping of commercial airtime will curtail their ad revenues. They also argue that the ad cap must be brought only after the benefits of cable TV digitisation start kicking in.

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