The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) continues to battle for the comfort of the viewers of TV channels in India in the context of an overdose of advertising.
The Regulations make landmark changes that will dictate the total volume of advertisements per hour on TV channels, define the gap between commercial breaks and do away with the pain of the high volumes in commercials.
According to the Regulations, “No broadcaster shall carry in its broadcast of a programme, advertisements exceeding twelve minutes in a clock hour and any shortfall of advertisement duration in any clock hour shall not be carried over.”
Further, “the advertisements in the clock hour shall include all types of advertisements including advertisements promoting the channel(s) of the broadcaster.”
This does not mean that we will not see ads every few minutes during cricket. “In case of live broadcast of a sporting event, the advertisements shall be carried only during the breaks in the sporting action.”
For lovers of films, the Regulations will be more than welcome. “The time gap between end of one advertisement session and the commencement of next advertisement session shall not be less than fifteen minutes,” is the diktat for normal programming. For films, it gets even better for viewers. “Provided that in case of broadcast of a film or movie the time gap between end of one advertisement session and the commencement of the next advertisement session shall not be less than thirty minutes,” the Regulation says.
Tired of commercials intruding into the content? No more, says Trai. “Every broadcaster shall ensure that the advertisements carried in its channels are only full-screen advertisements and there shall be no part-screen or drop-down advertisement.”
This Regulation will have broadcasters, TV commercial producers and creative agencies scrambling. “Every broadcaster shall ensure that the audio level of the advertisements carried in its channel shall not be higher than the audio level of the programs being broadcast in that channel.” Now you needn’t look for the remote control the moment the ad break begins.
Broadcasters will, no doubt, object to many of the proposals. For consumers though, it’s good to have Trai batting for us.