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Understanding Clean Feed

How often do you see advertisements of Indian brands in Television? A lot right.
How often do you see advertisements of International brands other than India in Television? Few.

We never see advertisements in TV channels like HBO, Cinemax, (Pardon me if this has changed recently). That’s clean feed. But in a case of Nepal that is not what we can implement at the moment.

International Trend.

Globally, there are two types of television channel into practice, one is the Pay channel, where the viewers pay for watching particular channels. The other type of channel is the Free to Air channels where viewership is for free. Although the free to air channels operate with the advertisements,  they don`t charge the viewers. However, there is an international trend where Pay channels operate without showing any advertisements to the viewers as they are charging the viewers. The narrative behind the argument of clean feed is the policy reform. Whereby, the  Paid T.V channels in America, Europe, and  South East Asia cannot show content with advertisements. However, they can charge the viewers accordingly.

The clean feed policy is strongly implemented in other countries in South Asia. Globally, Regulation of paid and unpaid television channels is not a new practice. Pakistan does not allow foreign television channels to charge their viewers money. Sri Lanka and Bangladesh regulate advertisement broadcasts on foreign television channels.When the new policies come into effect, even local cable operators cannot embed advertisements into content that is broadcast by foreign channels. Television broadcasters and cable operators will have to sort out technical difficulties to implement these policies.

 

Clean Feed Policy: creating opportunities for Local Ad Agencies.

The foreign channels entered Nepali households after the National Transmission  Act and Guidelines in F.Y 1995/96. Such channels are thus operating in Nepal charging the viewers along with the advertisements. Many foreign channels are going on air after paying for the advertisements in India. Such channels come to India without advertisements and are shown to Nepal filling the content with advertisements there.

The Clean Feed Policy will certainly change the way Nepalis have been watching foreign television programs for years. The Ministry of Information and Communications has set a time frame along with the strategic document to implement the policy, with the aim of ushering in a new era of uninterrupted television viewing.

As many as 147 foreign channels have been allowed to broadcast television programs in Nepal, more than 100 of which are paid channels. But even these paid channels broadcast content with several commercial breaks. Viewers pay for the content and end up having to watch the advertisements too.Only some paid channels, such as HBO and Cinemax, have been broadcasting television shows free of advertisements. Most Indian channels charge Nepali viewers but also feature advertisements.

Multinational companies have thus never felt the need to use local television channels as a medium to reach out to Nepali consumers. However, with the imminent ban on insertion of advertisements into foreign television content, Nepal’s own advertisement industry is sure to enjoy a boom.

Nepal’s burgeoning advertising industry earns Rs five billion per year. 70 per cent of the total advertising revenue comes from multinational companies. From now on, such companies have no option but to market their products in Nepal through Nepalese. Once this is put in place, it will create job opportunities for Nepali actors, models, artists and technicians

This comes as a relief to the struggling advertising industry as there are claims that the turnover with growing by at least Rs 2.5 billion once a clean feed is implemented. Clean Feed, thus, can be handy in creating an opportunity for the local ad makers and others stakeholders associated. The strategic implementation plan is underway which if implemented well will do wonders in Nepali market by creating an opportunity for the local artists.

What I have to say on this.

We see Shahrukh Khan, Amitabh Bachan, and many Bollywood actors’ voice being dubbed in Nepali and endorsing brands, that’s sad. Let’s just replace them with our local actors, that’s what Nepal need at the moment. Let the advertisements run in every channel but replaced by local advertisements, this can be win win situation for the advertisement agencies and television providers and operators. The implementation for Clean Feed in Nepal is must, to develop advertisements, movie, media, modeling, music sectors of Nepal, but a flexibility in implementation is required.


Thank you Sabik Raj Neupane for helping me in this writeup.

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