New Delhi : Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has reported that more than hundred private TV channels have aired advertisements for longer than the hourly 12-minutes to which it wants the airing of these to be restricted during prime time.
In a report on the average hourly duration of ads during the peak hours between 7 PM and 10 PM for the period June 29 to September 27, 2015, TRAI said that on 27 pay news channels and 112 pay non-news channels, the airing of commercials exceeded 12 minutes.
In several cases, these channels showed advertisements, both commercial and self-promotional, for more than 20 minutes per hour.
TRAI said its report is based on the data submitted by the broadcasters. The regulator also added that as per information available with it, other channels were carrying less than 12 minutes of average duration per hour of advertisements.
TRAI had in 2013 come up with an adcap regulation disallowing broadcasters from showing more than 12 minutes of ads in an hour. Broadcasters had later challenged the TRAI decision in Delhi High Court which, officials said, has asked the regulator to not take coercive action against the broadcasters till final orders.
However, the broadcasters have been asked to provide data on the duration of ads shown by them.
The reason for extraordinary breach is excess of 12 mins during the Prime Time is mainly due to the fact that Broadcasters always command a higher ad rates during the prime time bands, thus helping them to rake in more revenues than non-prime time.
With the growing subscription revenues on one hand the debate on unregulated commercial time exploitation by the broadcasters is a matter of debate between the Consumer and broadcaster, where both the parties expect the union government to step in for an earlier solutions.