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Bhavishya

I&B proposes to bring OTT content under its purview

July 08, 2020 06:35 AM

COURTESY HT JULY 8

I&B proposes to bring OTT content under its purview
HT Correspondent

letters@hindustantimes.com

New Delhi : The information and broadcasting (I&B) ministry proposed to bring content streamed on over-the-top (OTT) platforms under its purview on Tuesday with a top official saying there were no guidelines at present to govern emerging media.

I&B secretary Amit Khare also stressed on the need for a level-playing field but added that this did not mean all platforms would be brought under a “very heavy regulatory structure”.

Currently, OTT platforms such as Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hotstar fall under the domain of the ministry of information and technology (IT).

“OTT being a digital platform will fall under the purview of the ministry of IT but now we are proposing a decision that the content should fall within the purview of I&B ministry,” said Khare.

He also said regulatory regimes in India developed as per the platforms and the country currently has no regulations for the emerging media like OTT players.

“Out of the five different media -- print, radio, TV, films and OTT -- four of them have certain kinds of regulatory practices and one is unregulated”, he said, adding that currently a film released on OTT is not covered under the Central Board of Film Certification as it not exhibited as a film there.

He said “there is a need for convergence of various ministries (in this regard), particularly in the ways changes are happening, (it) is extremely necessary”.

Over-the-top platforms have seen a big jump in subscription during the nationwide lockdown that was imposed in March.

With cinemas shut across India, a number of big-budget films are also slated to be released directly on these platforms, bypassing a theatrical release.

In the past, the I&B ministry has favoured self-regulation mechanisms.

The ministry could consider a similar mechanism for OTT platforms, a person familiar with the developments said on condition of anonymity.

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