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23 pay news channels aired ads in excess of 12 min in Jun–Sep

MUMBAI: The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has found that 23 pay news channels are not complying with its ad cap rule, which mandates broadcasters to air only 12 minutes of ad in a clock hour.

Of the 23 news channels, six are national and the remaining 17 are regional news channels. These channels carried more than 12 minutes of advertisements (commercial & self-promotional) per hour during peak hours (7–10 pm) for the period 27 June to 25 Sep 2016.

Among the national news channels, NDTV Profit/Prime was at the top of table with 16.43 minutes of ads in a clock hour. India Today TV (earlier Headlines Today) was at the bottom among the national news channels with 12.4 minutes of ads.

The six national news channels had an average of 14.49 minutes of ads during peak hours.

The 17 regional news channels carried 15.89 minutes of ads on average. IBN Lokmat was at the top with 21.76 minutes of ads while ETV Kannada, the bottom-most channel, was on the borderline with 12.08 minutes of ads.

The regional channels found to be non-compliant were from three major networks, namely TV18’s ETV News Network, ABP News Network and Zee Media Corporation.

Regional news channels more than 12 minutes average duration per hour of Advertisements 27 June to 25 Sep 2016

TRAI said that the information is based on data submitted by the broadcasters and that it has no responsibility for the correctness of same. It further stated that the rest of the pay news channels carried less than 12 minutes of ads during peak hours.

It must be noted that the news, music and regional channels have secured an interim order from the Delhi High Court to continue airing more than 12 minutes of ads. TRAI cannot take any coercive action against the channels under the News Broadcasters Association (NBA), as per the order.

The TV channels, however, have to submit weekly reports stating their ad duration schedule to TRAI as per the prescribed format.

The matter is listed for hearing on 20 April.

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