Was clean feed policy really necessary in Nepal?

We have noticed that the majority of our channels do not have any advertisements anymore. In the latter days of lockdowns when the country was starting to loosen again is when all of a sudden the foreign channels disappeared. All thanks to the Clean Feed Policy!

This was rather annoying as people spent their time at home watching television and all the fun channels simply disappeared! So today, let us discuss and understand the Clean Feed Policy better.

WHAT IS CLEAN FEED POLICY?

The main idea about the clean feed policy is to not air any foreign advertisements. This would mean uninterrupted television without any advertisements or text marquees. If the channels want to air ads, they must be in the Nepali setting and the Nepali language. 

The main fundamental behind this clean feed policy is that the viewers already pay for the channels they should not have to pay to watch advertisements!

Let us understand it in a more clear picture. There are two types of channels: pay channels and free-to-air channels. 

Pay channels levy (fine) viewers for their channels and do not air advertisements. Free – to – air channels air their advertisements but do not levy charges. Indian channels, which are dominating the TV realm in Nepal would levy charges and broadcast advertisements. 

clean feed policy

HISTORY OF CLEAN FEED POLICY

The plans to put in place the Clean Feed Policy were from quite some time ago, at 2073. The policy finally came under action after the publishing of “The Advertisement Regulation Act 2076”. It took some more extra time because the TV Cable Operators demanded some time to adjust to the new changes.

IMPORTANCE OF CLEAN FEED

The clean feed policy was introduced for some positive outcome. The major reason for the introduction of the policy is because many of the International channels were charging unnecessary and now illegal advertisements to the Nepali viewers. The advertisements which were completely useless to the Nepali viewers were also charging them to view them. Hence, the policy removes the redundant advertisements fed to the viewers.

Another reason how the Policy can do good is by promoting Nepali creators and content. Let us see it this way: if international news channels stopped broadcasting then the possibility of TV audiences shifting to Nepali news channels will high. This helps in promoting the local content and channels.

A recent example is a new Nepali advertisement of Godrej no. 1 soap and Himalayan facewash. These products have created new advertisements with international standards. All thanks to Jazz Productions.

Also Read: QR Codes in Nepal. Who is Using It?

WAS THE POLICY NECESSARY?

After all the waiting, managing, and implementing the policy was it really necessary? Okay! here the opinion might differ.

Well in respect of the wrongdoing by the Indian TV Channels we can say yes. The policy is created for the people. The government felt that the viewers who already pay for the channels should not have to view advertisements too. The policy’s intentions are meant well for the consumer rights. 

Yet, this policy does not seems to help the viewers at the end of the day. This is because, since the implementation of the policy, many channels have stopped broadcasting in total. During times of lockdowns where television entertainment was one important factor for Nepalese society, channels like SONYT V, Star Plus, Star Sports, and many more popular TV Channels were halted. 

However, even after their return, viewers did not receive any uninterrupted smooth broadcasting. Instead of advertisements, there are blocks of time with a screen showing you notice in Star network channels. Likewise, in channels like SONY, they have been pretty smart and broadcasting promos of their tv shows repeatedly. 

The Clean Feed Policy would be amazing and an excellent step taken by the Ministry of Information and Technology. But, the only thing it has done is replaced advertisements with blank screen time. At least the advertisements were more entertaining!

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