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Indian broadcasters, like commercial channels everywhere, are limited in the number of minutes of advertising that they can carry. India’s Telecom Regulatory Authority (TRAI) sets a maximum of 12 minutes in any clock hour for ads during 7pm-10pm prime-time.
However, during Q3 (June 29th – September 27th) an investigation by TRAI officials found that a massive 139 channels exceeded the ad-limits, which included 27 news channels of which 10 were nationally available major news broadcasters.
The ad-limits cover straightforward commercial messages as well as self-promotion for the channel.
TRAI has listed the offending channels and says that many Hindi channels were offenders including mainstream broadcasters Sony TV (15.9 minutes), Star Plus (14.95), Sahara One (13.95), Zee TV (13.78) and Colors (13.14).
But the dubious record for exceeding the time limit went to B4U Movies, at an average for the time-slot of a massive 21.2 minutes. There were plenty of other movie channels in the 14-15 minute ‘penalty’ zone, while regional channels on the Sun TV platform had 19 offending services, ranging up to 17.43 minutes per hour average.