NTV & Apni Awaz Radio face Ofcom rap


NTV, a channel targeting the Bangladeshi community has come under the scanner by media regulator Ofcom over two on-air incidents.

The first was on Monday 20th April, where Ofcom noted certain segments of a news bulletin had commercial references. This is prohibited in the UK.

Additionally, from the recording provided by NTV, Ofcom noted during the broadcast of a drama called ‘Bari Bari Shari Shari’ on-screen captions for two companies were visible on four separate occasions although these were partially obscured by masking.

NTV apologised for both situations and said the appearance of the caption in the cricket clip was a result of human error. It concluded that since this matter had been brought to its attention, it has put stricter procedures in place to eliminate any recurrence.

The broadcaster said the commercial captions were included in the drama as a result of a technical problem with the equipment it uses to mask sponsor references in acquired dramas and other entertainment programmes. NTV said it made no commercial gain from including references to either of the companies. It said while there had been two problems on this occasion, such instances were the exception rather than the rule.

Bradford’s local community licensee Apni Awaz Radio, which aired a 28-day broadcast in January has been pulled up by Ofcom over the way it ran a competition.

The licensee broadcast a listener competition feature, sponsored by New Look Furnishings. This appeared in editorial and started with the broadcast of an advertisement for the sponsor, which was also running in Apni Awaaz FM�۪s commercial breaks. This was then followed by a presenter asking listeners to phone in if they knew the advertiser�۪s address. Callers were then brought to air until such time as the correct location was stated on air by a caller.

A listener believed the broadcast was in breach of the Code, as an advertisement for the programming sponsor had been used in the sponsored programming and was not clearly separated from it.

Ofcom prompted the station for a response but these seemed lacklustre. Ofcom was concerned by the broadcaster�۪s apparent lack of understanding about compliance with the broadcast code as evidenced by their response.

Ofcom said this case will be held on record and considered in the assessment of any future application by the broadcaster for another licence to broadcast.

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