The News Broadcasters Association (NBA) has welcomed the recent statements of Manish Tewari, Minister for Information and Broadcasting, that news channels must get an extension on the 12-minute per clock hour ad cap on Television “at least till the final phase of digitisation is complete”.
In a statement, it said, “NBA is happy that it has been understood that the industry is in a dire financial condition, like many other sectors of the Indian economy, with ad revenues being slow, carriage fees continuing to be burdensome and credible subscription revenues being out of sight. In a such a severe economic scenario in the country and on the ground, a forced curb on advertising will have a catastrophic impact on revenues of news broadcasters forcing many to take drastic steps that would have an unavoidable, adverse impact on quality of service and jobs.”
The statement went on to say that if the ad cap is implemented now, revenue loss for news channels would be in excess of Rs 500 cr.
The NBA is in agreement, it said, with the Minister for I&B that the 12 minutes cap on advertisements per clock hour be kept in abeyance and such restrictions “kick in only when the benefits of digitisation are apparent so that broadcasting companies can make good their advertising losses with subscription fee”.
NBA has also urged that the ‘burdensome and crippling’ nature of carriage fees ‘which have no business to exist in a truly digitised environment’ is also addressed urgently.
The association representing TV news channels has requested MIB and TRAI to come out with a final notification on keeping the ad cap for news channels in abeyance in the next 10 days, reasoning that delays beyond that will have ‘an irreparable impact on the industry’.