OTT Future

The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) has summoned top OTT platforms like Netflix, Disney, and Amazon, as well as tech giants Google and Meta for a meeting on June 14. The agenda is to discuss new regulations for broadcast services, extending to streaming platforms.

Last year, the government proposed a new law to regulate the broadcasting sector, including OTT platforms, similar to cable TV regulations. This has sparked concerns about potential impacts on creative freedom and expression.

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Under the proposed law, OTT platforms may require official certification and oversight by a regulatory committee.

OTT platforms fear this could limit artistic freedom, especially with plans for content evaluation committees to review and approve shows before release. Unlike films shown in theaters, streamed content currently bypasses such pre-screening processes.

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Netflix and others have voiced worries that these committees could lead to excessive content scrutiny, complicating implementation due to the vast amount of online content.

Conversely, the government argues that these measures will promote robust self-regulation. They propose a Content Evaluation Committee (CEC) for self-certification and a Broadcast Advisory Council (BAC) to handle complaints regarding content violations or breaches of codes.

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Meanwhile, the controversy surrounding Netflix’s upcoming film Maharaj, with protests from Hindu organizations and a stay order issued by the Gujarat High Court just ahead of its scheduled release, adds another layer of complexity to the ongoing regulatory discussions.

It remains to be seen how the MIB will address these issues, especially concerning the balance between regulatory oversight and preserving creative liberties in the OTT landscape.