Adcap case adjourned to 24 July; broadcasters hope govt will reverse earlier order

NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court has 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 July.


The NBA and regional broadcasters along with music channels informed the court about recent developments vis-?-vis the new government and highlighted the fact that they were awaiting the government’s response against their joint representation.


The Court agreed to the adjournment in order to give some more time for the aggrieved broadcasters and government to represent and decide an amicable solution amongst themselves.


The order that the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) will not take any 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.


TRAI sought to tell the Court that the matter had been pending for long, but the bench headed by Chief Justice G Rohini said if the matter could be resolved, then it was better to give more time.


For the broadcasters, this is a major relief even Information and Broadcasting Minister Arun Jaitley recently voiced his views against an ad cap on broadcasters.


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 showing.


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