Television operators have finally converted to digital terrestrial in Nepal. Now the government has decided that foreign channels should have a clean feed. This means they can’t have foreign advertisements. It is a challenging paradigm shift in television but it can improve Nepal’s ad business. Television Clean Feed Policy in Nepal can bring lots of opportunities but with some challenges.
The conversion from analog to digital took a very long time. The government set a time frame for a clean feed policy which is also small. However, challenging it may seem, the government wants to put it into effect. Operators are actually reluctant to this shift and claim it could destroy their business. The conversion is going to take lots of money as well. Now Clean Feed is a whole different game. Digital conversion helps the government collect more tax and Clean feed is going to aid the Nepali ad industry.
According to television clean feed policy, foreign channels can’t show ads. If the foreign companies need to target viewer in Nepal, they have to shows Nepali ads in Nepali channel. This is told to double our ad industry benefit of Rs 12 Billion. It means there are huge benefits because revenue can be grown. By the way, there are lots of challenges in both projects. Currently, there is no dedicated clean feed of international channel for Nepal. If the program goes active, Nepali viewers will get a few English channels only. None of the Indian channels have ad-free service for our country.
Clean Feed Policy Details
The Ministry of Information and Communication wants to put the Clean Feed Policy 2019 in Nepal into effect. According to this, either the broadcasting channels should be ad free or they should have advertisement made in Nepal. This is why the Ad Industry is pushing the government to implement this. They have a huge opportunity to gain large chunks of revenue. This is potentially new revenue sources. As of now, the foreign channels and national channels show dubbed advertisements.
The policy has good benefits but there are challenges. Indian channels have said that they can’t create special feed as it is a very small market. The cable operators have also stated that they will be hugely impacted. They also claim that it will increase the cost of television subscription for customers.
If the policy goes into effect, people won’t be able to view any Indian and International channels if the challenges are not mitigated. Indian channels are one of the most watched channels among foreign channels. They need to create a special feed and they are hesitant over this.
As for now the Government is going to implement this policy in stages because there is not enough manpower. Similarly, Indian channels are also not interested in developing special feed for Nepal. In addition, cable operators in Nepal also threatened to shut down serving of all channels if the policy is implemented without any planning.
Affects and Changes
After the implementation of this policy, all multinational companies will have to show ads in Nepali channel. Dubbed ads will be blocked totally. This means Nepali ad industry is going to make profit. There are lots of challenges in the TV industry. We are currently seeing a lot of new policy without any good planning, strategy, and collaboration with all concerned parties.
First, the operators are going to digital TV. Next is serving clean feed service to viewers. The operators are saying that, it is not possible at this time. International TV channels should also be ready with us. We are in wait and watch situation here. This can be successful if foreign channels also serve special feed.