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Govt to spend 40% of its TV ad budget on regional channels

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NEW DELHI: The Government has announced that 40 per cent of the annual budget for television media campaigns will be reserved for regional channels.

In its new policy guidelines for empanelment of private cable and satellite television channels for entitlement to government advertisements released by the Information and Broadcasting Ministry, the primary objective is to fix their telecast and broadcast rates.

It is expected that the new guidelines would obtain the widest possible coverage for the media campaigns released by Directorate of Advertising and Visual Publicity (DAVP) on behalf of Central government ministries/departments.

The existing criterion of 0.02 per cent all India channel share for empanelment with DAVP has been done away with under the new guidelines. This will ensure more regional channels to be empanelled by DAVP.

The policy mentions that while finalising the media plan for any region, it has to be ensured that bottom up approach is adopted: channels in that region should be first widely covered, followed by other mainstream channels.

A regional channel, satisfying the criterion for empanelment at any point of time in the year, can apply to DAVP for empanelment without waiting for the annual schedule, and DAVP, after scrutinizing the applications and verification of laid down criteria, may include the channel in the panel.

The new rates have increased rates substantially. There shall be no rate for ticker/scroll, as running of scrolls etc. using lower part of the screen apparently contravenes the Rule 10 of the Cable Television Network Rules 1994. Interestingly, there will be separate rates for live cricket matches.

Under the new policy guidelines, the rate structures are:

• Rs.23000/- shall be adopted as CPRP (cost per one percent rating point) and Rs150 as constant (a) to calculate the rates in terms of the above formula.

• Unit Rate - The unit rate for Government Spot shall be for 10 second duration.

• Time Bands - There shall be six time bands - i.e. 7 AM to 9 AM, 9 AM to 12 Noon, 12 Noon to 7 PM, 7 PM to 8 PM, 8 PM to 10 PM and 10 PM to 11 PM.

• In case of advertisement of 15, 25, 35, 45 seconds or any other duration which is in multiple of 5 seconds, the same will be payable on proportionate basis.

• For second year and third year, increase of CPRP and constant element shall be done with the prior approval of the Ministry.

No rate has been fixed for sponsored programmes. However, DAVP will call for rates for a particular time band from the channels having similar TVRs in a given genre for any specific requirement. The channel quoting the lowest CPRP may be offered the rate for telecasting the programme.

A rate may only be offered provided DAVP receives quotes from a minimum of four channels. The rate so fixed by DAVP shall apply to DAVP as well as to all AAs.

The policy also stipulates that there shall be a ceiling of 2 per cent on allocation of annual advertisement budget for Groups/Companies owning 1 to 3 channels and 5 per cent for Groups/Companies owning four or more channels. This provision shall be scrupulously adhered to by DAVP and the advertising agencies.

For the empanelment of agencies with DAVP, certain criterion will have to be met at the time of application. This includes a minimum telecast period of one year of commercial broadcast with at least 16 hours telecast per day – that is, 7 am to 11 pm. The Government permission to the company for up-linking and down-linking and sufficient evidence of such operation, a certificate by either EMMC or any other reputed agency that a channel is continuously being aired, the programme scheduling (Fixed Point Chart) for the previous 12 months from 7 am to 11 pm, during which the companies operated; a certificate from the Teleport operator through which the channel uplinks its programmes regarding the average time of operation of the channel, certificate duly signed by the Auditor/Company Secretary for the prescribed revenue details, latest profit & loss accounts, balance sheet and actual tax payment including service tax for previous financial year and the amount of advertisement revenue generated by the channel during the previous financial year.

The policy stipulates that all applications seeking empanelment shall be placed before a panel advisory committee constituted for taking a final decision. The policy stipulates that a channel once empanelled shall remain on the panel of DAVP for a period of three years.

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