A majority of TV channels, including news channels, don’t comply with the 12-minute advertisement cap ruling put up by the sector regulator TRAI.

The TRAI has pointed out that as many as 104 pay non-news channels were airing more than 12 minutes of advertisements on an average per hour between 7 pm and 10 pm during the period 27 June-25 September, 2016.

Along with 23 pay news channels, there are 127 television channels that are showing ads in excess of the 12-minute ad cap rule that is being currently contested by broadcasters in the court.

The number, however, has come down from the earlier 137 pay channels (news and non-news) that had failed to comply with the 12-minute advertisement cap rule of the authority between March 28 and June 26, 2016.

The ad-cap rule restricts the TV channels (news and non-news) from showing advertisements exceeding 12 minutes per hour (10 minutes of commercial advertisements and two minutes of self-promotions by the channel). The rule was notified by the regulator in 2013.

The authority, while notifying the cap, had said the channels will have to inform it of the volume of advertising they carry on a quarterly basis following the notification of the Standard of Quality of Service (Duration of Advertisements in Television Channels) Amendment Regulations, 2013.

Almost all top Hindi general entertainment channels (GECs) are airing more than 12 minutes of ads in a clock hour during peak hours (7 pm-10 pm).

These channels had average advertisement duration of 15.16 minutes. B4U Movies had the maximum duration at 25.79 minutes. Among the top-rung channels, Sony Max had the highest duration of ads followed by Zee Cinema and Star Gold.

TRAI has also found that 23 pay news channels were not complying with its ad cap rule. Of the 23 news channels, six are national and the remaining 17 are regional news channels.

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, while the 17 regional news channels carried 15.89 minutes of ads on average.

The TRAI, while putting out the information, said the information is based on data submitted by the broadcasters and that it has no responsibility for the correctness of the same.

Incidentally, 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 matter is now listed for April 20. – Tribune India