Broadcasting regulator TRAI has now made it clear that there will be a cap of 12 minutes per hour for showing advertisements and promotional clips.
While the implementation of the rule will make TV watching more pleasurable for the general viewers, broadcasters, media planners and advertisers are trying to figure out the changes that the new rule will bring. Reluctant initially to accept it, broadcasters have now agreed that the 12 minute cap should be enforced in a phased manner.
"Even though the law has been in existence for almost eight years (Advertising Code of the Cable Television Act), it never got enforced as the Government apparently felt a new industry needs to develop its roots before such a law can be enforced. The Authority (TRAI) apparently feels the roots have grown well and it is now time to enforce the law," said Shailesh Shah, the secretary general of the Indian Broadcasting Federation when asked for his take on the issue.
Shah said the implementation of the rule would hurt advertisers, agencies and channels but it was also an opportunity for broadcasters to get together to ensure digitisation is done and the elusive subscription revenue kicks in.
When asked about the impact restricting of advertisement limits to 12 minutes would have on their price, Shah said that "advertising rates have always been addressed by market forces, and will most certainly continue to do so."