MIB to meet Netflix, Disney, Amazon, Google, Meta to discuss broadcast service regulations

The MIB meeting is scheduled for June 14. Last year, the draft Broadcasting Services Bill's recommendations sparked conversations related to content cuts, pricing changes and concerns about the impact on creators and consumers.

By  Akanksha NagarJun 13, 2024 12:13 PM
MIB to meet Netflix, Disney, Amazon, Google, Meta to discuss broadcast service regulations
Netflix and other OTT players have raised concerns that the content committees (as per the draft Broadcast Service Regulation) would lead to excessive pre-screening checks and raise implementation problems.

The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) has called the country's top OTT platforms including Netflix, Disney, Amazon, and tech giants Google and Meta for a meeting on June 14 to discuss broadcast service regulations.

Last year, the government introduced a new draft law to regulate the broadcasting sector which is also applicable to the streaming giants. The proposed regulation for OTT platforms, akin to cable TV, has raised some concerns about the impact on creative content and freedom of expression.

The bill suggests official certification and a regulatory committee, potentially stifling artistic freedom, stakeholders have said while raising their concerns.

It proposed the formation of individual content evaluation committees with members from various social groups who will review and sign off on shows before they are released. It is to be noted that all films in Indian cinemas are reviewed and certified by a government-appointed board, whereas streamed content is not.

Netflix and others have raised concerns in the past that the content committees would lead to excessive pre-screening checks, raising implementation problems as many online content will need to be reviewed first.

On the other hand, the government says the new law and formation of content committees will help in robust self-regulation. The government can define the committee's size and quorum and only "duly certified" shows shall be broadcast.

The draft recommendations talk about a Content Evaluation Committee (CEC) and a Broadcast Advisory Council (BAC). While the CEC will be responsible for self-certification, the BAC will hear complaints regarding violations or contraventions of the Programme Code or Advertisement Code. They will also examine the complaints or grievances received by it and make recommendations to the Central Government.

First Published on Jun 13, 2024 12:07 PM

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