New Delhi: Leading broadcasters Thursday met Information & Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari to express their reservations on the recent TRAI regulation which bars television channels from telecasting more than 12 minutes of advertisements every hour.
In a meeting that lasted nearly 40 minutes, the broadcasters are learnt to have apprised the minister that the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) move may make the going tough for several channels at a time when the industry was seeing a difficult phase.
Emerging from the meeting, Tewari said his ministry suggested to the broadcasters to take up their concerns with TRAI and work out a solution.
"We have encouraged the finding of a modus vivendi (way) whereby the imperatives of the consumer's value for money as well as the imperatives of their revenue model can be balanced," Tewari said.
Indian Broadcasting Federation (IBF) president Man Jit Singh described it as a "very good meeting".
Apart from Tewari, senior I&B officials and Singh, News Broadcasters Association (NBA) president K V L Narayan Rao, Rajat Sharma of India TV and Anuradha Prasad of News 24 were among those present in the meeting.
The broadcasting industry and the regulator TRAI have been in clear disagreement over a regulation notified by the latter on March 22.
Taking exception to TV channels not following rules on advertisements, TRAI had made it mandatory for broadcasters to provide details of commercials telecast in every 15 days. The regulation armed TRAI with the power to intervene if channels crossed the 12-minute limit.
The regulators move, however, drew stringent criticism from broadcasters.
In a statement, NBA had said that it "appears that this (new regulation by TRAI) is an attempt to muzzle the media by taking away its ability to operate independently," while IBF said the move will hurt the industry and asked the regulator to withdraw the notification.