DWAIPAYAN REGMI | INVESTOPAPER
South Asian nations have their mechanism and practice of broadcasting channels around. Bhutan distributes the channel through the Government line and its mechanism. Sri Lanka looks after the feed from foreign channels and Bangladesh has the policy of intervention that permits to fix price for foreign channels. Pakistan, on the other hand, has regulation over foreign channels and bars which imposes costs over the viewers.
However, Nepal is wide open in broadcasting; Nepalese audiences will have to see foreign commercials paying their fees. There have been enough discussions over clean feed for years, but no remarkable move can be noticed.
What is the Clean Feed Policy?
The clean feed is a direct signal or link which does not come from the main output of video switcher, but directly from the sender. Clean feed policy refers to the policy where there will be monitoring of Government/Other parties before broadcasting. This policy is derived with the following objectives in Nepal as per Clean Feed Policy 2073.
- To remove the foreign advertisement from those foreign channels which are broadcasted in Nepal.
- To promote MNC’s advertisement form local Nepalese channels to boost up domestic media.
- Promotion of national program’s quality in order to reduce foreign language imposition over the channel.
- To promote the advertisement market and increase employment opportunities in the advertisement industry.
- To generate more Government revenues from the advertisement field.
Why huge fuss in Clean Feed?
If this is all about the promotion of the advertisement industry, it is important to understand why there is a huge issue over it.
Cable operators have been consistently demanding not to implement this policy as this will increase the cost of channel. And hence, the price burden will be shifted to the viewers. Also, this can lead to an increase in the cost of sales of set up boxes of Indian operators and hence the promotion of pirated contents would gear up. Meanwhile, cable operators urge that there should be a separate body to trim foreign commercials that rely on the channels of Nepal.
Since foreign commercials will be banned, there will be enough rooms for Nepali made commercials. Commercials should all be made here in Nepal and hence their business will grow up. Agency will get more works and their turnovers will gear up at a higher level.
Implementation of this policy will lead to a hike in regular channel costs. For bigger and busier places, there had never been enough rooms for TV channels and hence this could lead to a decline in TV viewers as well. On the other hand, this will benefit the advertisement world as a whole. The total population of Nepal is big enough to have its level of viewers. Meanwhile, if channel providers opt to distribute channel with segmentation – domestic Nepali channels will likely gain a wider range of spaces around.
One reason why the Hindi language is so popular and why Indian culture is directly reflected in Nepal is through these easily available channels. Upon monitoring them – domestic production would enhance up for sure. But yes, with additional costs.