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140 channels not complying with the 12-minute ad cap, says TRAI

MUMBAI: As many as 140 channels are not complying with the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s (TRAI) 12-minute ad cap regulation.

These include 39 news and 101 non-news channels, according to the TRAI report on average duration per hour of advertisements (commercial and self-promotional) on TV channels during peak hours (7 pm–10 pm) for the period 23 February–1 March 2015.

The rest of the news and pay non-news channels are carrying less than 12 minutes of average duration per hour of advertisements, TRAI said.

A senior TRAI official told that the data for ad cap has been published because a number of consumer organisations urged the authority to release data on how much advertisement different channels are airing.

“We had taken a view not to publish the data. But since a lot of consumer organisations advocated this, we thought let us make the data public,” the official said.

The authority has not decided if it would publish the information on a regular basis, the official stated.

Hindi GECs

In the television industry, Hindi general entertainment channels (GECs) are the highest revenue-earners. The ad rates are sold at a hefty premium.

According to TRAI data, even the popular Hindi GECs were showing ads beyond the 12-minute ad cap.

ad cap_hin_gec

Hindi movie channels

Hindi movie channels were consuming more ad time than the Hindi GECs.

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South Indian GECs

Among the South Indian channels, the top three offenders were from Sun TV Network, which has challenged the ad cap in the Delhi High Court.

ad cap_south_gec

Hindi news channels

The worst offenders in breaking the ad cap rule are the Hindi news channels. They were airing as much as 20 minutes of ads during an hour in the 7- pm-10 pm time zone.

ad cap_hind_news

English news channels

While the English news channels in general aired fewer ads than their Hindi counterparts did, some channels like CNN IBN and Headlines Today were on a par with certain Hindi news channels.

ad cap_eng_news


TRAI’s 12-min ad cap came into force on 1 October 2013. The News Broadcasters Association (NBA), regional and music channels challenged the TRAI order in the Delhi HC. The HC gave interim relief to the appellants asking TRAI not to take coercive action against them till final orders.

The matter has seen several adjournments ever since the hearing began. The matter will next come up for hearing on 23 July.

The ad cap rule is part of the advertising code of the Cable TV Networks Regulation Rules 1994.