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Ad cap violation by 141 TV channels even as case to come up in September

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NEW DELHI: Even as the advertising cap case is to come up for further hearing before the Delhi High Court on 8 September, a study shows that a total of 141 television channels comprising 36 news and current affairs channels and 105 non-news channels, continue to telecast more than 12 minutes of advertising and commercials per hour in violation of the set rules.

The study shows that while the highest of these is 22.66 minutes by India TV and the lowest is 12.04 minutes, there are at least 17 news and 19 non-news channels clocking more than 15 minutes per hour. 

While asking the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) not to take any coercive action against any channel pending hearing of the case, the Court had asked all channels and TRAI to keep a record of the advertising time consumed including commercials. 

The petition had been filed by the News Broadcasters Association (NBA) 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.

Interestingly, I&B Minister Arun Jaitley had in January this year said that he was not in favour of any ad cap in the print or electronic media.

In the petition, the news channels have taken the plea that they are free to air and therefore do not get any subscription fee from the viewers as the GEC channels do.

TRAI says that the information is based on the data submitted by the broadcasters and TRAI bears no responsibility for the figures given. 

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 & Self promotional) during peak hours (7 - 10 PM) from 30 March to 29 June.

Among the news channels, the lowest is Mathrubhumi News with 12.42 minutes and among the GEC channels, the highest is 18.69 by B4U Movies and the lowest is 12.04 by Jaya Max.

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