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Media and Entertainment industry should be regulated with light-touch approach: Stakeholders

Media and Entertainment industry should be regulated with light-touch approach: Stakeholders
Industry stakeholders believe the media and entertainment sector should be regulated with a light-touch approach.

Industry

Media and Entertainment industry should be regulated with light-touch approach: Stakeholders

Industry stakeholders believe the media and entertainment sector should be regulated with a light-touch approach. They acknowledged that the sector, for long, has served as a means of soft power for India and was also very recently hit by the disruptions brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.




Madhavan, chairman, CII national committee on media and entertainment, and country manager and president, Walt Disney Company India and Star India, speaking at the 10th edition of the Big Picture Summit, said it is essential to be allowed to freely flourish with the power to self-regulate. “Self-regulatory bodies for both TV and digital are working extremely well in India, and have proved that they can effectively handle complaints and concerns without any interference from policymakers and regulators,” he said. “We hope to have a more proactive and positive approach from the regulator. There needs to be light-touch approach, so as to not hold the industry back.”

P.D Vaghela, TRAI chairman, said television broadcasters had done a great government service by keeping people entertained as they remained home during the pandemic. He revealed that about 46% of the population had taken to watching TV all seven days a week, at the peak of the lockdown but there was still scope for deeper television penetration. “Trai is committed to ensuring ease of doing business for the telecom and broadcast sector.

Trai is also working towards creating time-bound solutions and reforms in policies and hopes Indian consumers can access global offerings such as pay-per-view and pay-per-programme in time. Vaghela said the regulator’s aim is to create a level-playing level for all stakeholders and ensure balance between broadcasters and distribution operators. “Transparency in tariffs and service offerings for consumers remain the core objective of Trai, but also unfortunately, slight controversial. The fact that our tariffs in broadcasting are among the lowest in the world exemplifies that Trai interventions have helped the consumers.”


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Madhavan raised the need for a single national policy for the media and entertainment sector. He said it should be coherent, captures the industry’s aspirations and brings in greater clarity for the industry and regulators. “With inputs from the industry, this new national policy could guide regulators for years to come, and ensure that consumers, the industry and the stakeholders find certainty and clarity in equal measure”

The executive acknowledged that digital streaming has changed the global consumption pattern, and Indian content can make a serious impact at the global level, provided there is the right support from policymakers and the regulator.


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