ZEE5 CEO Tarun Katial has taken over as chairman of the Digital Entertainment Committee at the Internet and Mobile Association of India. The Digital Entertainment Committee has streaming services and other online players as members; these include Netflix, Zee5, Prime Video, Hotstar, Sony Liv, Viacom18, Reliance Jio’s RJio Studios, MX Player, Hungama, Discovery, Hoichoi, Arré, Gaana, and Saavn. Katial will be taking over from Ajit Mohan, a Hotstar veteran who is currently Facebook’s India head.
Before the pandemic, the DEC’s most pressing issue was introducing stronger self-regulation in Indian streaming services in a supposed effort to stave off government regulation. This would be accomplished with the Digital Content Complaints Committee, a body similar to the industry body for broadcast that receives viewer complaints.
Streaming services were torn about the idea in March, unable to agree on the body’s need. Interestingly, ZEE5 pulled its accord to a code of conduct for streaming platforms after the DCCC, also known as “tier 2” of content regulation, was introduced. Before the DCCC could go forward, the country locked down because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and priorities changed overnight.
“At IAMAI, our immediate task at hand would be to seek support from the Government, policymakers, local authorities to resume production activities at the earliest,” Katyal said in a statement, adding that the committee would also push for some “long pending issues” in the sector to be resolved.