India’s broadcasting minister is recommending that the 12 minutes of advertising per hour rule be relaxed until the end of next year. The rules were due to come into force in October, and have been fought by the industry.
The Ministry has reportedly changed its mind because the broadcasting industry says that by September 2014 the nation’s switch to digital transmission will be mostly complete, and broadcasters will enjoy the higher revenues from honest viewing numbers. The extra revenues, say broadcasters, will compensate them from the lost advertising minutes.
India’s broadcasting regulator had ruled in May 2012 that general entertainment broadcasters cut their advertising minutes from 16 minutes per hour, and that news channels trim from 20 minutes per hour, to a flat 12 minutes from October 1st. However, even these generous time allowances were being flouted and TRAI had found some news channels carrying up to 30 minutes of advertising per hour.
India’s telecom regulator TRAI has made no comment.