Envisaging TV Clean Feed in Nepal, compulsory ad-free clean feed to start

Update: The government has already stepped back on this approach of implementing TV Clean Feed in Nepal. The Ministry of Information and Communication states not enough homework was done to implement TV Clean Feed in Nepal this time. So it has been postponed. Read MoIC Notice.
Paying to watch foreign channels in Nepal and forced to watch their commercials and advts? Well, that’s illegal broadcasting according to the Mass Communication Policy 2016 and recent announcement made in FY 2074/75 budget of the government of Nepal. Compulsory implementation of ad-free TV clean feed broadcasting in Nepal is to roll out from July 16th, 2017 (Shrawan 1st, 2074 – the start of the new fiscal year 2074/75.)
What is clean feed broadcasting?
By clean feed broadcasting, we understand transmission of broadcast materials without any graphical makeover like advertisement. To mean Nepal’s clean feed policy will bring in advertisement-free foreign pay channels. Like watching “comedy night with Kapil” without any adverts.
This is because you have paid to watch TV channels and you cannot be thrown ads during the broadcast, or the channels should be free like in BBC or CNN ie Clean feed in Nepal will not applicable to these and other free-to-air channels.
Generation of Clean Feed and Keyed Graphics embedding, image from Wikipedia by Morningfrost
Generation of Clean Feed and Keyed Graphics embedding, image from Wikipedia by Morningfrost
Clean feed in Nepal was envisaged years ago. Just one year ago on July 2016, foreign channels were informed and given one year window period to come into clean feed in Nepal’s broadcasting sky.
Clean Feed in Nepal helps Nepalese advertisers the most. ‘Clean Feed’ is likely to double turnover of Nepalese ad industry according to the Advertising Association of Nepal. Television channels, which broadcast their content by charging a certain fee, cannot broadcast advertisements. This system is called ‘clean feed’.
Implementation of clean feed will promote domestic and local culture and will reduce the influence of foreign culture in different advertisement.
Challenges with clean feed implementation
Nepal Government can bring foreign channels to clean feed using channel downlink procedure through a unified system of single pipelining. However, at the current stage of Nepalese TV broadcasting where shifting to digital TV broadcasting has not yet fully achieved, it is a challenging job with over 250 local TV cable operators.
According to the government notice on clean feed in Nepal, all companies including Direct to Home (DTH), Cable TV, Internet Protocol Television (IPTV), Multichannel Multipoint Distribution Service (MMDS), and Digital Terrestrial (DTTV/DTV) distributing and broadcasting. It is however not clear whether IPTV and WebTV that are freely accessible via Internet can also be covered under the clean feed reign of the policy.
Dish antenna DTH TV in Nepal by TechSansar.com
Dish antenna DTH TV in Nepal by TechSansar.com
As of now, there are no any dedicated clean feed of international channels for Nepal (let alone the free channels.) So, it is likely that in the advent of clean feed, Nepalese TV viewers might end up with few international English and other foreign national broadcast channels (like BBC, CCTV, DW5.)
According to DeltaDigit, 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 special feed by the advertisement they show here. Currently it is impossible to make such drastic things all of a sudden.
Clean feeds have been practiced for airing TV contents (including the Indian Channels) in Nepal’s neighbouring countries like Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Pakistan since long. It would have been wise for the government first to come up with total digitization before proceeding to clean feed broadcast technology. Let’s wait and see how does channel distributors come up with post mid-July.
Suggestive read “Advertisement: Clean Feed in Nepal” by Prabin Basyal in LinkedIn.
In this article we tried to include common understanding in clean feed broadcasting, clean feed definition, what is clean feed, clean signal definition, clean feed in nepal and clean feed media.
Related TV Broadcasting reads:

  1. IPTV in Nepal – how feasible it will be?
  2. NET TV, Nepal’s first licensed OTT IPTV [Review]
  3. Nepal’s first Digital TV – Clear TV
  4. UrStyle TV Nepal’s 1st Lifestyle Web Channel [Review]
  5. DTH Service in Nepal – FAQs
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