The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) wants there should be no disparity between over-the-top (OTT) and pay-TV. In the past, many have called for the regulation of OTT platforms. But the government has so far allowed the OTT platforms to self-regulate so that they can produce the best content for the consumers. According to an Exchange4media report, PD Vaghela, Chairman, TRAI, speaking at the 10th edition of the CII Big Picture Summit on Wednesday, said 5G is going to enhance digital media, and a level playing field between the TV industry and the digital media should be ensured.
TRAI Has Consumer Interests in Mind
Vaghela noted that all that TRAI looks after is the interest of the consumers. While digital media and OTT platforms have seen a surge in content demand, the TV broadcast sector in India is still going to be a major contributor to the Indian M&E market in the next three to four years.
Vaghela said that the pay-TV industry has only been able to reach 55% market penetration until now. This means that there is a large part of India which still doesn’t have TV services. Thus there is a lot of room for the growth of the pay-TV industry.
The TRAI chairman further said that the regulator is looking into the issues such as the disparity in channel prices. TRAI has received complaints from the pay Direct-to-Home (DTH) operators about the differential treatment of broadcasters. The broadcasters have been offering select channels for free on DD Free Dish while charging the DTH operators.
The regulatory might soon bring in reforms regulating the OTT platforms to create a level playing field for both the pay-TV industry and the digital media. Vaghela also said that India must invest in adopting the pay-per-view or pay-per-programme system.