Television

TRAI’s ad cap regulation is reasonable: Delhi HC

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MUMBAI: Another challenger to the ad cap petition has got relief from the Delhi HC regarding a Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) regulation on restricting advertisement duration in an hour to just 12 minutes. Maa Television, a leading Telugu GEC, has been asked to tag along with other petitioners such as the News Broadcasters Association (NBA), Sun TV, E24, Pioneer Channel Factory on 13 March.

During the course of the hearing, the bench of acting chief justice B D Ahmed and justice S Mridul observed that “Twelve minutes of advertisement in 60 minutes of a programme is ridiculous. The content becomes an advertisement and the ads become the content.”

The bench also supported TRAI’s decision of bringing in ad cap amongst broadcasters. “What TRAI is doing is reasonable. Take an opinion poll. Everyone will say no to advertisements,” remarked the bench.

However, it also gave the channel an interim relief till the next hearing while asking it to submit its weekly advertising data to TRAI. It has restrained the regulator from taking any coercive measures against the channel.

The NBA is leading the case. The case was initially with the Telecom Disputes Settlement Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) and later shifted to the Delhi HC after the Supreme Court in a separate case stated that challenges to TRAI regulations cannot be heard at TDSAT.

However, the lawyers, who are part of the case, think that the observation won’t have any significant impact on the hearing on 13 March.

With less than a month, all parties involved are gearing up to submit their pleas to the court.

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