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NBA agrees with Manish Tewari on 12-minute ad cap

By afaqs! news bureau , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Media Publishing | August 21, 2013
The association makes a point that the genre might lose over Rs 500 crore, if the ad-cap is implemented at this stage.

News Broadcasters Association (NBA) agrees with the minister for information & broadcasting, Manish Tewari, that news channels must get an extension on the 12-minute ad cap, "at least till the final phase of digitisation is complete."

In a statement, the NBA expressed happiness that the dire financial condition of the industry is understood, given that ad revenues are slow, carriage fees continue to be burdensome and credible subscription revenues still out of sight. In such a severe economic scenario, 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.

Manjit Singh

It is estimated that if the ad cap were indeed implemented at this stage, the revenue loss across news channels would be in excess of Rs 500 crore, forcing cuts of at least that amount in costs, if channels have to survive. The NBA said that it agreed with the minister that the 12-minute 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 fees."

When afaqs! tried to obtain Indian Broadcasting Federation's view on the matter, its president, Manjit Singh, said that though he is not sure about the news broadcasters' move on this, other genres (member of IBF) are equally impacted by the regulation.

In an official communiqué, the association 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.

NBA requested the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting and the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) to come out with a final notification keeping the ad cap for news channels in abeyance as above, in the next 10 days as any delays beyond that will have an irreparable impact on the industry.

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