January 2020


The Ministry of Information Technology & the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting will jointly control OTT content. Both ministries have clearly demarcated their areas of control.

IT ministry will take care of user-generated content and social media.

The MIB will look into content on video streaming platforms (like Hotstar, Netflix, Amazon, etc.)

Divergent statements have been emerging from various government ministries, during the past 2 months, especially on self-regulation of content

MIB will control OTT Platforms' Content & MeitY Will Take Care Of Social Media & User-Generated Content.


"OTT (Over-The-Top) video streaming is a strange animal but our self-regulation model will only apply to curated content on streaming platforms (like Netflix, Amazon, Hotstar and others) while user-generated content and social media would be the reserve of the IT Ministry," Atul Kumar Tiwari, additional secretary, MIB, said at India Video 360- Broadcasting, Satellite & Telecoms, a conference organized by AVIA in New Delhi.

"We've had discussions with many stakeholders (in the OTT space) and are trying to reach a model that is agreeable to both the government and other members of society. We recognize that the OTT format is different from cinema and television. But even the Indian Constitution guarantees freedom of expression subject to reasonable restrictions," Tiwari said.


Unlike television broadcasting and feature films, the video streaming industry in India will continue to enjoy creative freedom and platforms will only have to come together to create a self-regulation model, Amit Khare, secretary, MIB had declared said at an event in New Delhi in November 2019.

Unlike TV & Movies, Video Streaming In India Will Be Self Regulated


Minimal regulation also seems to be an ideal the government is looking to extend to the traditional broadcasting industry. The ideal scenario would be to not have any regulation in place, if the market sees healthy growth on its own with no friction between various stakeholders', be it content producers like the broadcasters, distributors like DTH, & MSOs & consumers.

"Unfortunately, there is often a divergence of interests between these sections and we have to intervene," RS Sharma, TRAI Chairman said at the same event. That is the reason, he added, that TRAI had declared a New Tariff Order (NTO) last year.

I don't see a great dip in television in the next 1 or 2 years


Sharma said India is unlikely to see a complete switch to online video as cordcutting, or the phenomenon of people cancelling or forgoing a pay television subscription in favour of an alternative internet-based service, is still some time away despite the penetration of mobile phones.

"OTT will continue to grow in India but linear television will remain too, especially given the variety of television content we have. If data prices remain as low as they are, there could be an acceleration (in online video consumption). But I don't see a great dip in television in the next 1 or 2 years," Sharma said. n