The new draft broadcasting regulation bill drawn up by the Centre has set off a controversy with its provisions that draw not only broadcasting companies but also OTT platforms, digital news and apps into its ambit.
The bill seeks to directly regulate streaming platforms such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Disney+Hotstar as over-the-top, or OTT, broadcasting services.
It may even include social media platforms like What'sApp, and signal messaging companies.
There is a likelihood that it will also cover even individuals putting up news and current affairs content online on YouTube and other platforms.
The grey area drew criticism as the bill was put up for public consultation.
There will be a content evaluation committee for self-regulation and broadcasting advisory council to advise central government on programme code and advertising code violations.
The bill will replace Cable Television Network Act as well as a slew of policies and guidelines drawn up later to plug holes.
The bill aims to have a self-regulation mechanism in terms of content and bring in a committee to guide the government in cases of complications.
There will also be an advisory council to advise the government in case of programming code violations.
The government has made provisions for penalties which include monetary clauses as well as censure, advisory, warning and even imprisonment in case of very serious offences.
The bill also makes broadcasting inclusive with provisions for the disabled like sign language, use of subtitles and audio descriptors.
It also includes a Right of way approach for broadcasting network operator companies to share infrastructure and carriage of platform services. This will enable cable operators to share cables and infrastructure to allow the consumer to decide which operator he or she wants.