TRAI report: 139 channels violating 12 mins AdCap rule

New Delhi: A Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) report reveals that 27 news and current affairs and 112 general entertainment channels continue to violate the regulations for telecasting a maximum of twelve minutes of advertisements and commercials.

The report released by TRAI shows that the number of violators among news channels has come down from 36 while that of non-news channels has risen from the 105 as on June 29.

 Average duration per hour of Advertisements (commercial and selfpromotional) during peak hours (7pm to 10 PM) in pay news channels for the period June 29 to September 27, 2015 shows that the highest of these is 20.99 minutes by Zee Akaash News Pvt. Ltd and the lowest is 12.55 minutes by Zee Media Corporation Limited.

 Among pay non-news channels for the same period, the highest is 21.20 minutes by 4U Broadband India Pvt. Ltd and the lowest is 12.07 minutes by Movies Now+. There are at least fifteen news and 25 non-news channels clocking more than fifteen minutes per hour which indicates increase over June-end, reveals the TRAI report.

 According to information available to TRAI, the rest of the news channels are carrying less than 12 minutes of average duration per hour of advertisements (commercial and self-promotional) during peak hours (7pm - 10 pm) from June 29 to September 27. TRAI says that the information is based on the data submitted by the broadcasters and that it bears no responsibility for the figures given.

 A petition against the AdCap rule had been filed by the News Broadcasters Association and some channels challenging the TRAI decision to implement the directive of 12 minutes contained in the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act 1995. The Information and Broadcasting Ministry and TRAI are the respondents in the petition.

As reported earlier, even as the broadcasters are still to come to an amicable solution with the government, the AdCap conundrum continues to drag on with another postponement for early next year. After the Information and Broadcasting Ministry told the Court on November 27 that it was discussing the issue with broadcasters, the matter was put off to 11 February. This was the first time that the Ministry had put in an appearance in the petition. The Bench observed that the matter had been pending for some time and therefore it will hear and conclude the case in the next hearing.

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