Nepali TV under fire over advertising and sponsorship breaches

LONDON - British Bangladeshi channel Nepali TV has been found in breach by the media watchdog over a number of incidents, including broadcasting almost three times the amount of advertising permitted in a single hour.

The channel, aimed at the UK's Bangladeshi community, also broke rules concerning the amount of advertising permitted, sponsorship of current affairs programmes and the prominence of brand names.

During routine monitoring of Nepali TV in August and September, Ofcom raised a number of concerns over the content broadcast on the channel.

News bulletins broadcast on various dates during August appeared to be sponsored by National Bank, breaching the rule that sponsorship of news and current affairs is prohibited.

Ofcom also noted that during an episode of 'Closeup1', a talent show broadcast, the brand of the presenters' wardrobe and the name of the make-up artist were captioned on screen.

Ofcom found that there was no editorial justification for the caption and that it gave undue prominence to the clothing brand and the make-up artist.

Finally on September 22, Ofcom viewed 34 minutes of advertising on Nepali TV between 11am and 12am in excess of the 12 minutes permitted.

Nepali TV told Ofcom that its content was supplied as a direct feed from the NTV Bangla channel from Bangladesh and explained that it required time to remove the content as it needed to contact NTV Bangla's head office.

It subsequently reported to Ofcom that it had set up facilities in the UK to enable it to edit the content it acquired from NTV Bangla before broadcasting it.

Ofcom said that it was very concerned that Nepali TV appeared to believe it was acceptable to transmit material from overseas without ensuring it complies with Ofcom codes.

It is not the first time Nepali TV has broken industry codes. The Advertising Standards Authority banned ads for Horlicks and Maggi Noodles shown on Nepali TV for breaching laws on EU health claims as well as industry guidelines.

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