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New DAVP guidelines hailed by private C&S regional channels

Policy focuses level playing field for regional channels in empanelment for Central Government ads

BestMediaInfo Bureau | Delhi | May 14, 2012

The Ministry of Information & Broadcasting has announced new policy guidelines for empanelment of private cable and satellite TV channels for government advertisements released by the Directorate of Advertising & Visual Publicity (DAVP). In a notification that is being rejoiced by regional channels, the primary objective of the guidelines is to empanel C&S channels and fix their telecast/broadcast rates. It is expected that the new guidelines would obtain the widest possible coverage for the media campaigns released by DAVP on behalf of Central ministries and departments.

The existing criterion of 0.02 per cent all-India channel share for empanelment with DAVP has been done away with under the new guidelines. This will ensure large number of regional channels becoming part of DAVP’s panel.

Another key aspect of the new guidelines is the focus on reaching out to regional channels in media campaigns. The policy stipulates that out of the total annual budget allocation for television media campaign, 40 per cent will be exclusively earmarked for regional channels. This is being hailed as a big relief by regional channels.

The Association of Regional Television Broadcasters of India (ARTBI) welcomed the notification. Rakesh Sharma, CEO of India News and Convener of ARTBI, said, “Earlier a major chunk of government ads was reserved for bigger channels. Now with 40 per cent being earmarked for channels like us, it would be a huge relief. The empanelment criterion has also been done away with. This spells high growth potential for channels where TAM doesn’t reach to note the viewership.”

Kartik Sharma, President of ARTBI and Managing Director of ITV, commented, “The regional channels were starved of this benefit for the last ten years. We welcome the new notification.”

The policy mentions that while finalising the media plan, it has to be ensured that a bottom-up approach is adopted, i.e., channels in a region should firstly be widely covered, followed by other mainstream channels. A regional channel, satisfying the criterion for empanelment at any point of time in the year, can apply to DAVP for empanelment without waiting for the annual schedule, and DAVP, after scrutinising the applications and verification of the stipulated criteria, may include the channel in the panel.

The new rates have increased the ad rates substantially.

Under the new guidelines the rate structures are as under:

•           Rs 23,000 shall be adopted as CPRP, i.e., cost per one per cent rating point and Rs.150 as constant to calculate the rates in terms of the above formula.

•           Unit Rate - The unit rate for Government Spots will be for 10-second duration.

•           Time Bands - There will be six time bands, i.e., 7 AM to 9 AM, 9 AM to 12 Noon, 12 Noon to 7 PM, 7 PM to 8 PM, 8 PM to 10 PM and 10 PM to 11 PM.

•           In case of advertisements of 15, 25, 35, 45 seconds or any other duration which is in multiples of 5 seconds, the same will be payable on proportionate basis.

•           For second year and third year, increase of CPRP and constant element will be done with the prior approval of the ministry.

•           There will be no rate for ticker/scroll, as running of scrolls, etc., using the lower part of the screen apparently contravenes Rule 10 of the Cable Television Network Rules 1994.

•           Under the new guidelines there will be separate rates for live cricket matches.

No rate has been fixed for sponsored programmes. However, DAVP, for any specific requirement, will call for rates for a particular time band from the channels having similar TVRs in a given genre. The channel quoting the lowest CPRP may be offered the rate for telecasting the programme. A rate may only be offered provided DAVP receives quotes from a minimum of four channels. The rate so fixed by DAVP shall apply to DAVP as well as to all AAs.

The policy also stipulates that there will be a ceiling of 2 per cent on allocation of annual advertisement budget for Groups/Companies owning one to three channels and 5 per cent for Groups/Companies owning four or more channels. This provision will be scrupulously adhered to by DAVP and the advertising agencies.

For empanelment of agencies with DAVP, certain criterion will have to be met at the time of application. These include: a minimum telecast period of one year of commercial broadcast with at least 16 hours telecast per day, i.e., 7 AM to 11 PM; government permission to the company for uplinking and downlinking and sufficient evidence of such operation; a certificate by either EMMC or any other reputed agency that a channel is being continuously aired; the programme scheduling, i.e., Fixed Point Chart (FPC) for the previous 12 months from 7 AM to 11 PM during which the companies operated; a certificate from the teleport operator through which the channel uplinks its programmes regarding the average time of operation of the channel; certificate duly signed by the Auditor/Company Secretary for the prescribed revenue details; latest profit & loss account, balance sheet and actual tax payment including service tax for previous financial year; and the amount of advertisement revenue generated by the channel during the previous financial year.

The policy stipulates that all applications seeking empanelment will be placed before a panel advisory committee constituted for taking a final decision. The policy stipulates that a channel once empanelled will remain on the panel of DAVP for three years.

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