Nepali TV has been rapped three times by media regulator Ofcom for news coverage and excessive time given to commercial airtime.

During some routine monitoring earlier this year by Ofcom, it contacted the channel about certain concerns.

The first was about news bulletins broadcast on various dates during August 2008 being sponsored by a bank. Ofcom does not permit broadcasters to carry sponsorship on any news/current affairs programming.

Another concern outlined by Ofcom was about product placement during programming airtime. It noticed a talent show called ‘Closeup1′ on 22nd September 2008 featuring the brand of the presenters’ wardrobe

and the name of the make-up artist displayed on screen.

Furthermore, Ofcom viewed 34 minutes of advertising on Nepali TV between 11:00 and 12:00 on 22nd September 2008. In addition to this, advertisements were also displayed in a scrolling caption across the screen during programming. Ofcom’s rule on commercial airtime is a total allowance for advertising and teleshopping spots on any channel in any one hour not to exceed 12 minutes.

Nepali TV told Ofcom that its content was supplied as a direct feed from the NTV Bangla channel from Bangladesh. The broadcaster 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 concluded that Nepali TV was in severe breach with the regulator’s rule and regulations. It said, “Broadcasters are responsible for ensuring that the material they broadcast onservices licensed by Ofcom complies with Ofcom codes including Broadcasting Code and COSTA. Ofcom is very concerned that Nepali TV appeared to believe it was acceptable to transmit material from overseas without doing so.”