Broadcasters oppose Trai regulation

The National Broadcasters Association (NBA) has objected to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s (Trai) regulation which restricts the duration of advertisements in television channels to a maximum of 12 minutes in any given clock hour.

It has dubbed the Trai regulation as an “attempt to muzzle” the media ahead of the 2014 polls and demanded the government to keep the regulation in abeyance till such time the digitisation process is fully implemented in the country and the Directorate of Advertising and Visual Publicity (DAVP) recommences advertising on news channels at rates which are fair and acceptable.

“NBA is appalled that by way of advertisement regulations, the Trai has issued the most sweeping and intrusive controls not just regulations in relation to advertising that may be carried on TV channels,” the association said.

These regulations have been issued at a time when news channels are facing the most unfriendly business environment. Dependence on advertising remains absolute with over 90 per cent of revenues coming from it, the association underlined.

“The recent regulations, however, are just the opposite and reveal a clear lack of understanding of the actual problems on the ground and the environment that the industry operates in. The regulations, if implemented, will force many news organisations to shut down, taking away our democratic right to inform and educate,” it added.

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