Only shows that receive certification from this committee will be eligible for broadcast, according to the draft legislation.
The Central government has proposed a new draft broadcasting law aimed at regulating streaming platforms such as Netflix, Disney and Amazon. The draft advocates for the establishment of individual content evaluation committees.
On Friday, the MIB introduced the Broadcasting Services (Regulation) Bill, 2023 for public consultation. The aim is to replace the existing Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995, and streamline all current laws and policies within a cohesive framework.
The key innovation of the draft law is the requirement for each broadcaster to set up its own Content Evaluation Committees (CEC). According to the authors of the draft law,it will help in ”robust self-regulation”.
”Every broadcaster or broadcasting network operator must establish a Content Evaluation Committee (CEC) with members from various social groups,”
according to the draft law document, which is open for public consultation for 30 days.
The law will also provide powers to the Central government to regulate any online creator or news media platform.
The bill also empowers the government to regulate services "other than broadcasting services that are intricately linked to broadcasting networks or broadcasting services".
The proposed law empowers the federal government to determine the size, quorum, and operational specifics of the CEC. Only shows that receive certification from this committee will be eligible for broadcast, according to the draft legislation.
Netflix and Amazon have gained immense popularity in India, with the sector poised to expand into a $7 billion market by 2027, as projected by Media Partners Asia. Renowned Bollywood stars are prominently featured in online shows, some of which have drawn criticism from lawmakers and the public for scenes perceived as vulgar or offensive to religious sentiments.
Earlier in July, Reuters reported the ministry had privately told Netflix and other streaming services that their content should be independently reviewed for obscenity and violence before being shown online.
While all films in Indian cinemas undergo review and certification by a government-appointed board, streamed content remains exempt from this process.