India’s Telecom Regulatory Authority (TRAI) says that as many as 140 channels are not complying with its advertising rules covering the number of minutes of ads that can be broadcast in any 60 minute time slot during primetime (7pm-10pm).
TRAI’s limit is 12 minutes in any hour, and as many as 39 news channels and 101 general channels are in breach of the rules. The new rules were effective October 1st 2013
TRAI examined the channels during a week of monitoring during February 23rd – March 1st.
The worst offenders were India’s news channels, which prior to a ban would carry on-screen advertising and scrolling banners or texts during a complete transmission. But TRAI found that News 24 transmitted 20.98 minutes, India TV (20.56 minutes), NDTV (20.25 minutes), Zee News (19.18 minutes). Even CNN’s local partner was not exempt, and carried 16.11 minutes of ads.
Some of India’s most popular channels were found to be exceeding TRAI’s limits, including SET (Sony Entertainment Television) at 15.77 minutes, Star Plus (14.86 minutes), Star Plus HD (14.08 minutes), See TV (13.98 minutes) and Sahara One (13.53 minutes).
Bad as this list is, it is as nothing compared to breaches amongst India’s film channels. For example, B4U transmitted 17.6 minutes, MAX 15.81 minutes, Star Gold (13.09 minutes), Zee Movies (12.81 minutes).
A similar series of breaches were observed on the popular South Indian regional channels where Sun TV was a massive offender at 17.67 million, with another dozen channels transmitting well beyond the 12 minute limit.