Regional news and general entertainment channels will now get a greater share in the governments annual advertisement pie as the Information and Broadcasting Ministry on Friday relaxed the empanelment norms of the Directorate of Advertising and Visual Publicity (DAVP),which handles the advertisement activities for the government.
In its new policy guidelines for empanelment of private cable and satellite television channels announced on Friday,the Ministry did away with existing rules that prevented channels with an all-India viewership share of below 0.02% to get empanelled. The clause had eliminated several channels from the ambit of government advertising.
This will ensure large number of regional channels to be part of DAVPs panel, the ministry said. Arguing that many of the regional channels dont have pan-India viewership as they target only specific audience groups and regions,the Association of Regional Television Broadcasters of India had been demanding changes in the empanelment rules.
Besides,the policy stipulates exclusive earmarking of 40 per cent of the governments total annual advertising expenditure on television media campaign to regional channels. The policy makes it clear that regional channels would be given first preference when it comes to region-specific advertisements.
While finalising the media plan,it has to be ensured that a bottom up approach is adopted,that is,channels in that region should be first widely covered,followed by other mainstream channels, an I&B statement quoting the policy said. Moreover,a regional channel which satisfies the criterion for empanelment can apply for it anytime of the year and need not wait for the annual schedule.
As far as rates are concerned,sources said there could be an across-the-board increase of around 65 per cent.