probe TV channels
Hindustan Times, May 10, 2012
Competition Commission of India (CCI) may launch an investigation
against major television channels to find out if they have abused
their dominance or formed cartels against consumer interest in
programming advertising slots. The TV channels may be probed for
scheduling advertising slots during programmes in such a way that
viewers are denied their right to choose by switching channels and
are forced to watch ads.
(Consumer Unity & Trust Society), a non-profit consumer advocacy
group, has prepared a preliminary investigation report on this,
which it is expected to present to the CCI.
Ashok Chawla, CCI's chairman, said that though the anti-trust body
has not yet received any official complaint on the matter, it
would look into it once it receives such a proposal.
will look into the specific competition angle in this particular
matter," Chawla told Hindustan Times.
500 channels serve 450 million viewers in India.
have prepared a preliminary investigation report on television
channels and how they have been going in for advertising breaks
around the same time," Pradeep S Mehta, secretary-general, CUTS,
would send the report to CCI and would seek a probe into the
matter to ensure that consumers are nor deprived of choice," he
"Just when you want to flip a channel in search of some content
you realise that there are commercial breaks in most channels.
This can be frustrating as I am almost forced to watch the ads
despite paying a subscription fee to channels," said Jyotika Anand,
a resident of Saraswati Vihar, New Delhi.
India's advertising pie was estimated at Rs. 30,000 crore in 2011,
of which Rs. 11,600 crore went into TV channels.
per regulatory norms, channels can use no more than 12 minutes per
hour for advertising breaks.
senior official representing a television broadcasters'
association who did not wish to be identified said that due to the
time slots available for programmes, most channels go into breaks
around the same time.
is not a conscious effort. But there is no need for
micromanagement," the official said.
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