India’s Telecom Regulatory Authority (TRAI) has named and shamed 138 channels, in the news and non-news sectors, are showing more than 12 minutes of ads in any one hour.
The measurements were taken in the first quarter (January to March 25th). The channels were measured during the evening ‘primetime’ hours (7pm-10pm) and 99 entertainment channels and 39 news channels broke TRAI’s rules, and some were excessive.
Two B4U channels were in the top three offenders, with B4U Movies airing the most commercials (and self-promotion messages) at 25.88 minutes per hour, with B4U Music showing 20.22 minutes of ads.
Even mainstream networks were guilty. Star India, Viacom 18, Sun TV and Zee were regularly airing more than 12 minutes of ads in any “clock hour” at 12-16 minutes per hour.
One of the problems, especially in the ‘news’ genre is the use of scrolling data, and side-screen data panels. These screen areas are subject to a fresh demand from a Parliamentary committee on TV, which is looking for regulations which limit the area for tickers/scrolling to a maximum of 10 percent of the screen area. Indeed, the Parliamentary report says that vertical scrolls and panels should be banned.