While regulation of OTT content comes under the ambit of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB), the carriage part comes under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY). Trai will look into such issues.
The consultation paper will deal with issues like bringing price parity between OTT video platforms and traditional distribution platforms like cable TV and direct-to-home (DTH) services and applying some of the rules for the broadcasting sector to OTT when it comes to live content, one of the persons cited above said.
While TRAI has neither confirmed nor denied that it is planning to come out with a consultation paper, industry watchers said the consultation process is the first step in formulating rules for a fledgling segment that is making massive losses due to cut-throat competition among over 40 OTT platforms in the country.
In the video content industry, broadcast companies are bound by regulations on issues like pricing, bundling, and distribution of content, whereas no such rules exist for OTT players.Trai is likely to issue the consultation paper on a suo-motu basis as it has not received any reference from the government, a second person aware of the development said.An email sent to Trai chairman PD Vaghela didn’t elicit any response till press time Wednesday.There have been calls from different stakeholders in the telecom and broadcasting sectors to ensure level-playing field between broadcasting and OTT segments.