Regulators

Ad cap case to be heard on 23 September, news channels seek clarity on MIB stand

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NEW DELHI: The challenge to the advertising cap of 12 minutes per hour by the News Broadcasters Association (NBA) and others in the Delhi High Court will be heard on 23 September.



The NBA sought adjournment on the ground that it wanted to discuss the issue with the Information and Broadcasting (I&B) Ministry to seek certain clarifications.



According to information available with Indiantelevision.com, this comes in the wake of a statement made by I&B Minister Arun Jaitley in January this year that there should be no ad cap in the print or electronic media.



The order that the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) will not take action against any channel pending the petition will continue. In an earlier hearing, the Court had, at the regulator's instance, directed that all channels keep a record of the advertisements run by them.



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 has also 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 showing. 



Meanwhile, TRAI recently released results of their records, which show that around 36 news channels apart from 105 General Entertainment Channels (GECs) have violated the ad cap by telecasting ads for more than 12 minutes an hour.

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