The landscape of streaming services in India is gearing up for a potential clash with the proposed broadcasting bill, with Netflix, Viacom18, and other industry leaders considering a joint effort to request revisions or delays from the Indian government. The bill, which aims to regulate both traditional broadcasting and streaming platforms, has raised concerns among streaming giants, prompting discussions on how to navigate its potential impact.

Proposed Broadcasting Bill Overview

The draft legislation introduces the concept of content evaluation committees, a move that has stirred apprehension within the streaming industry. These committees would be tasked with reviewing and approving content before it is released, marking a departure from the current practice where online content often circumvents government certification. The streaming industry is expressing reservations about potential hurdles posed by these committees and is seeking a more favorable revision of the bill.

In a recent closed-door meeting among top OTT platform executives, strategies were discussed on how to engage with the government effectively. The primary goal is to either delay the implementation of the bill or push for substantial revisions that address the concerns raised by streaming services. This collaborative effort reflects the shared interests of major players in the industry, including Netflix and Viacom18, in navigating the evolving regulatory landscape.

Industry Concerns

One of the key concerns raised in the meeting revolves around the practical challenges posed by the proposed legislation. Streaming platforms fear that the establishment of content evaluation committees may lead to an extensive pre-screening process, making it logistically challenging to manage the vast volume of online content. Netflix, in particular, has expressed concerns about how these committees could impact its operational efficiency and content release timelines.

A source closely associated with the matter highlighted the industry’s worry, stating, “Netflix and other streaming companies are concerned that the proposed content committees may result in too many pre-screening checks, posing implementation challenges due to the large volume of online content that would need prior review.”

While streaming services are raising concerns, the Indian government argues that the proposed measures are essential for fostering robust self-regulation within the industry. The bill, currently open for public consultation until December 10, is intended to replace the 1995 Cable Television Networks Act. It aims to extend regulations to online news broadcasters and specific social media accounts acting as OTT broadcasters, bringing them under a comprehensive regulatory framework.

The Path Forward

As the industry navigates this regulatory crossroads, executives from leading streaming platforms are emphasizing the potential adverse effects of the bill on the growth trajectory of the sector. The executives underscored these concerns during the recent meeting, signaling a collective determination to protect the industry’s interests and ensure a regulatory environment conducive to continued innovation and expansion.

The proposed collaboration among streaming giants like Netflix and Viacom18 demonstrates a united front in addressing regulatory challenges. The outcome of this collective effort will not only shape the future of streaming services in India but also influence the broader discourse on the intersection of technology, content, and regulation in the digital age.

By Admin

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *