India in South Africa 2010-11 January 27, 2011

Show-cause notice for Ten Cricket channel

ESPNcricinfo staff

Ten Cricket has been asked to explain the violation of the Indian government's advertising codes during its coverage of the recently concluded series between India and South Africa. Acting on complaints received by consumers, the Information and Broadcasting Ministry of India sent a show-cause notice to the channel regarding the intrusive advertisements during live telecast.

The channel, according to the government, has breached the advertising code which stipulates that the advertisement should be easily distinguishable from, and not interfere with, the programme.

"A show-cause notice has been sent to Ten Cricket channel regarding the violation of Rule 7 (10) of the Advertising Code as prescribed in the Cable Television Networks Rules 1994 which provides 'all advertisement should be clearly distinguishable from the programme and should not in any manner interfere with the programme viz, use of lower part of screen to carry captions, static or moving alongside the programme,'" Raghu Menon, the secretary of the Information and Broadcasting Ministry which formulates rules for broadcasting and advertising in the country, told ESPNcricinfo. "The ministry has received complaints about the advertisements interfering with the live telecast by using the sides, central and lower parts of the screen to carry the advertisements, thus reducing the visual frame of the main live telecast.

"The channel has been asked to show cause within seven days of the notice as to why action in accordance with the provision of the Uplinking Guidelines and Section 20 of the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act 1995 should not be taken against it."

Ten Cricket - a 24-hour cricket channel - is owned by Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited (ZEEL) and was launched in August 2010. Among its recent cricket telecasts was Pakistan's Test and limited-overs series in the UAE against South Africa and India's full tour there which concluded earlier this month.

When asked by Harsha Bhogle, during ESPNcricinfo's fortnightly audio show Time Out, if the high prices of broadcasting rights were driving broadcasters to resort to intrusive advertising, Menon said: "Nobody's really stopping a channel from advertising at the end of an over. When you have advertising exploding out of the ground in the middle of an over, that is terribly intrusive and I don't think any viewer will appreciate that. That's really carrying it a bit too far.

"When a license is given to a broadcaster, for downlinking or uplinking or showing any programme, they are required to sign an agreement with the government and part of the agreement is that they will follow the program and advertising codes," Menon said. "To that extent, they are walking into the business with their eyes open and they are required to follow it, otherwise it amounts to a violation of the laws of the land."

When contacted by ESPNcricinfo, Atul Pande, the CEO of Sports Business, ZEEL, said he would respond once he'd received the show-cause notice, but added there was a lot of pressure on TV channels to generate revenue through ad sales due to the high cost of broadcasting rights as well as low subscription prices paid by consumers.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on January 29, 2011, 15:25 GMT

    I have pointed the same thing out last week while the series is going on.. but I like to think I have changed the world a little bit ;)

  • ANIL on January 29, 2011, 12:01 GMT

    I am an Indian fan and based in Singapore. I was tuned in to the NZ v Pak 3rd ODI game at Christchurch on Neo Cricket. I have to agree that advertisements in the middle of the overs when NZ were batting is just annoying. When B Mac got run out we barely got to see the replay or the Pakistani players celebrating. It is about time that someone got hold of this as other TV broadcasters of cricket such as Sky Sports in the UK are much better at covering the sport.

  • Crick on January 29, 2011, 11:02 GMT

    Is TEN CRICKET HD is having ads...I am not sure, if they don't have then all should switch to HD

  • S.rao on January 29, 2011, 10:51 GMT

    It was frustrating to watch the game on TEN CRICKET. I also noticed that as soon as the last ball of the over is hit in the deep they go to the ad immediately and we dont even get to watch if there was a misfield or a run out of the last ball and the coverage is back on when the bowler has almost finished bowling the first ball of the next over.In that regard I think Star cricket is better.I hope they give us some good coverage in the world cup rather than 4 balls of an over.

  • Crick on January 29, 2011, 10:45 GMT

    The coverage was terrible, I am happy the issue has been raised at the right time, just before the World Cup, also nothing has been said about the 'guerilla marketing' where they show the match in a little space and covered with advertising (like the picture in the article). This should also be brought to notice

  • Ram on January 29, 2011, 5:43 GMT

    Rightly said C.Knight :-)......... the problem is absolutely the BCCI. It is just a bunch of politicians, who hang on to this supposedly "non-profit" organisation to further their own interests. What is the need for BCCI to keep generating revenues in such large numbers - FOR WHAT?? Clrealy the good of the game is not the reason - they clearly have reduced the game to just a slogfest and Bolly-tamasha by the ridicolous importance given to IPL. Where else can a run of the mill flat track bat like Uthappa fetch 5X the price of a VVS Laxman - thats simply not cricket! Anyways, the Eden Gardens fiasco (and BCCI's attempts to wash their hands off) is the latest exapmle of their not giving a damn abt cricket or cric lovers. All they care abt is $$s. Sadly, with its money, Bcci is THE power in world cricket - I fear cricket's decline as a sport over the next decade or so - it will turn into a WWF style show run by BCCI - which really is what bcci's IPL truly is, the WWF of the cricket world

  • raja on January 29, 2011, 4:34 GMT

    GLAD to see this noticed and reported ,please let us know how to make these complaints ,ten cricket is the worst cricket channel i ever seen,

    we hav to wait for the advertistments to finish to c the replay of the wicket fallen,forgot about the first ball

    and also we love to c the emotions of the batesman and the bowler and the fielders when a wicket falls ,we will miss it if it telecasted in ten sports ,

    we should take a lesson from the ashes series telecasting ,what a joy to watch,every cricket lover will love that irrespective of the nationality

    the commentry very very below par,haysmen was a nightmare to hear,bring back harsha,ravi,sunil,tony ,chappel please atleast for the world cup

  • Crooked on January 28, 2011, 22:47 GMT

    What BCCI has done is kill the goose that lays the golden, it is turning away youth who are still learning the nuances of the game. And, they learn that from between the overs analysis and other things that happen outside of the contest between the bat and the ball. Who wants to follow a game where all you see is bat hitting the ball or ball going past the bat? What happened to the human factor, the expressions of players at key moments, the body language of the players between overs, the replays, the analysis between overs and so on?

  • Crooked on January 28, 2011, 22:43 GMT

    Only GlobalCricketLover and others with the same opinions provide any solution to this problem.

    Even Harsha Bhogle seems to skirt talking about the real issue in detail.

    I don't blame the broadcasters or the advertisers or anyone else for this. They are businesses, they need to make some money during marquee series.

    The problem is with BCCI. BCCI needs to regulate the ads, because cricket on TV is their product. BCCI needs to set an upper limit on the number of minutes of advertisement per hour. So, when the broadcasters buy rights, all of them are on a level playing ground, are aware of the number of ad-minutes they can have during the entire match, the revenue they can generate, and hence, the bid amount for the rights! It's simple!! Blame BCCI.

  • Coolest on January 28, 2011, 20:47 GMT

    Neo Cricket, Setmax and Ten Sports were used to be the worst channels to watch live cricket, until this new channel called Ten Cricket also joined them. ESPN (Star Cricket, Star Sports) has been the most professional channel so far, they never do these intrusive advertisements and have NEVER done it before. In fact ESPN will not even show any adds during crunch situations. I hope the Indian government only sell rights to ESPN and no other channel.... I LOVE TO WATCH LIVE CRICKET ONLY ON ESPN CHANNELS!!! GO ESPN, U R DA BEST!!!

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