TRAI Plans to Regulate OTT Platforms in India Hotstar, Amazon Prime, Netflix etc

After DTH and Cable TV, TRAI will regulate Hotstar, Amazon Prime, Netflix and other OTT Platforms in India and other online TV service providers in India. It is expected that TRAI plans to include OTT media platforms in regulations that comply with cable TV and DTH regulations. The measure could result in OTT platforms following rules and policies similar to those of cable and DTH operators.

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TRAI to regulate OTT Platforms in India and ott apps

The Indian Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRAI) has issued new regulations for the cable TV and DTH distribution industry. Although TRAI intended to introduce a more transparent and justifiable system that benefits all stakeholders, consumers have found that it increases the television bill and complicates the system. The new regulations have led many people to switch to OTT platforms (such as Hotstar, Netflix and others). However, it seems that TRAI is also considering subjecting all OTT Platforms in India to a single set of rules. And that could happen very soon.

In a recent Telecom Talk report, TRAI plans to publish a consultation paper on the regulation of OTT platforms. A high-ranking official from TRAI said: "The broadcasting of television programs has been licensed to registered broadcasters, who are then allowed to distribute content to cable or satellite operators under a license, if a third party, such as an app, displays the same channels without the To pay shipping and licensing costs must result in inequality, and both must fall within the scope of the license, or both must be exempt. "

In a way, TRAI wants it to be consistent across all actors in the broadcasting sector. To date, DTH or cable subscribers have followed the rules and all interested parties (consumers, DTH operators and broadcasters) are required to pay taxes and fees in accordance with regulations. By comparison, OTT apps do not have to pay such fees or taxes. This facilitates financial management for these actors, and no government agency can regulate the structure and content of the awards.

Currently, all ott apps such as Hotstar, Netflix, Prime Video, Zee5, Sony LIV and others are subject to the terms of the Computer Law. If TRAI accepts this decision, all players must comply with the rules of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. This could lead to the introduction of complex price structures, as we observed a few months ago for cable TV and cable operators.

OTT players are not satisfied with this decision and give several reasons why TRAI cannot regulate it. "Trai is not authorized by law to regulate OTTs (Telecommunications Regulators Act of India, 1997). The Internet ecosystem, of which OTTs are an integral part, is regulated by law in 2000 and according to the standards set forth below," said Star India in the consultation paper. The CEO of MX Player said that "OTT Platforms in India are just another way for viewers to watch TV channels, TV channels are already sufficiently regulated and any additional license framework is completely useless."

On the other hand, TRAI's DTH and cable operators are pushing for consistent and fair rules that apply to all content delivery services. At the moment the decision to regulate OTT Platforms in India is still in agreement and there is nothing to decide if it will work.
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