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.
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.