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TV broadcasters want the regulatory flexibility streaming services have

Linear TV broadcasters in India have been looking at the freedom streaming services have — for now — and their reaction is clear: we want that too. "For someone like us who come from a linear TV background [as opposed to on-demand online streaming], we don’t want new technologies like streaming or OTT to be regulated to the extent that we are," said Vynsley Fernandes, CEO of IndusInd Media & Communications, a cable TV operator. "We’re saying quite the opposite; there is a benchmark that is set by a new generation who doesn’t want to see regulations beyond the current level. We’re saying that’s fine; but please look at the linear industry and see if there’s a way to up the regulation parameter," Fernanded said, at an online session on broadcast regulations conducted during FICCI e-FRAMES 2020 on Wednesday. Relaxing TV regulations to digital levels In India, TV is regulated by the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995, a law that was passed in the year when India had its first private live TV broadcast. But the industry largely self-regulates, with institutions like the Indian Broadcasting Foundation and the Broadcast Content Complaints Committee, which fields viewer complaints against TV channels. Even with this self-regulation, though, channels self-censor and, one executive said, field an inordinate number of complaints. "Unfortunately in India, because it’s a country of complaints and bans, everybody wants a say in what content you’re running," said Avinash Pandey, CEO of the ABP Network. "The largest department if you…

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I cover the digital content ecosystem and telecom for MediaNama.

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