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TRAI directed not to implement ad cap for music channels

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NEW DELHI: The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) was today directed not to take any coercive action against four music television channels with regards to ad cap.



Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) member Kuldip Singh after hearing counsel Kunal Tandon directed the matter to come up for further hearing on 21 October.



The petitions were filed on behalf of Mastiii (owned by TV Vision, Mumbai), B4U, 9X Media, M Tunes HD and Music Xpress.



Earlier, TDSAT had accepted a similar petition by the News Broadcasters Association (NBA) which challenged the constitutional validity of the regulations of TRAI enforcing the ad cap. That petition has been listed for hearing on 11 November.



The Tribunal said while the channels will maintain weekly records of the advertising time per hour on a weekly basis, they will not be required to submit this to the regulator. Unlike the current practice, the records will only be submitted to TDSAT at the time of the hearing of the case.



At that time, Counsel A J Bhambani for the NBA had said that a delegation of the Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF) had submitted a formula to the regulator but that did not preclude the broadcasters from challenging the validity of the regulations.



He also said that this was only a compromise reached between the broadcasters and the regulator and could not form the basis of penal action since it was not a regulation or legal provision.

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