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Broadcasting sector requires light-touch regulatory regime
The Indian broadcasting sector requires a “light-touch” regulatory regime for orderly growth, said K Madhavan, president of the Indian Broadcasting and Digital Foundation (IBDF).
The sector is experiencing a crisis as many consumers at the top end of the pay-TV spectrum opt for video streaming services, while those at the bottom move to free-to-air platforms, resulting in a subscription revenue squeeze. Also, advertisement revenues are yet to recover from last year’s Covid disruptions.
Madhavan said a few days after his re-election that the previous year had been “very hard” and that the IBDF had “sensitised the government about the rising challenges, with both subscription and ad revenues hitting new lows.”
Madhavan took over as president of the then IBF (Indian Broadcasting Foundation) last year.
In his first year, he pushed to expand the foundation’s membership to include video streaming platforms (OTT services) and changed the name of the foundation to be more inclusive. The foundation was able to persuade the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to “further improve” ease of doing business by implementing one-window clearance/approvals, he said.
“The review of uplinking and downlinking guidelines, which is due, is going to further improve the ease of doing business in the sector,” he said. “We saw an opportunity to expand the scope of IBF to include digital and rechristened IBF as IBDF in a challenging year like this,” Madhavan said. “We were the first to launch a self-regulatory organisation with widespread engagement from member companies.” Business Journal
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