Indian Parliament Finalizes TV Content Code, Allows Adult

Anne Winter
NEW DELHI, India — Indian Parliament has finalized the Broadcast Bill, a code of conduct for TV programs that will allow the airing of adult content between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. daily.

The Broadcast Bill is the first attempt by the government to establish a formal set of regulations and rules for TV programming. In the bill, a proposed Broadcast Regulatory Authority of India could hold jurisdiction to oversee code violations.

Many TV industry experts in India believe the airing of adult content will attract new advertisers and could possibly result in a spike in late-night ad revenue.

Paritosh Joshi, president of ad sales and distribution for TV network STAR India, said revenue brought by adult viewership would likely be marginal because the only sex products considered acceptable for TV ads are condoms. Ads for alcohol and tobacco already have been banned by the government.

However, Pranesh Misra, president of Indian ad agency Lowe India, believes airing adult content at night could open the doors for more advertising possibilities.

"Products linked to adult-oriented consumption could see a spurt on the late-night band," Misra said.

Others are skeptical that the Broadcast Bill will entice companies advertising products that have as yet been considered "far beyond the domain of television." All advertising currently is governed by the Advertising Standards Council of India, which holds strict rules moderating ad content.