Apps streaming TV channel may come under regulatory ambit

OTT

After introducing new tariff rules for television channel earlier this year, the Telecom Regulatory authority of India (Trai) has now shifted its focus to OTT apps that stream TV channels to bring them under the ambit of regulatory framework.

Carriage of TV programming by apps such as Hotstar, Airtel TV, Sony Liv is currently unregulated. This puts registered broadcasters in a disadvantageous position who are allowed to give content to cable operators and satellite players only under a licensing framework.

When apps show the same channels without paying the carriage charges and licencing fees, it creates disparity, a Trai official was quoted as saying in an ET report.

The broadcasters operate under a licence which is valid for 10 years. Under the cable TV (regulation) Act, the licensee has to comply with the programming and advertising code and must adhere to guidelines set by I&B ministry. Whereas apps come under IT Act, but do not have to seek licence.

Trai is expected to issue a consultation paper on the matter by July-August.

Adding to the complication are broadcasters such as Star India, Sony, Zee and Times Network which have their own streaming apps. For them, OTT platforms are only another medium for viewers to watch TV channels. They view any additional licensing framework an unnecessary hassle.

Broadcasters such as Star India have opposed the move saying that Trai does not have the authority to regulate apps under the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India Act, 1997 as the entire internet ecosystem is regulated by the Information Technology Act, 2000.

However, DTH companies and cable operators’ associations content that a non-level playing field has been created with the same show playing on TV and an app at the same time. They have demanded OTT players be also regulated under the principle of ‘same-service, same-rules’.

With the rising popularity of  OTT apps, Trai is wary of being caught off-guard if a legal redressal is sought for the level playing field in the space.

It is of relevance here that Supreme Court has issued a notice to Centre to regulate the content featured on OTT platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hotstar. The petition was filed by an NGO alleging that the online media streaming platforms show “uncertified, sexually explicit and vulgar” content.

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India’s Black financial system Shrinking, nonetheless Exceeds Thailand’s GDP: Ambit Capital

India's Black Economy Shrinking, Still Exceeds Thailand's GDP: Ambit Capital

New Delhi: Pegging India’s ‘black financial system‘ at over Rs 30 lakh crore or about 20 in keeping withcent of total GDP, a new take a look at says it’s been contracting steadily over the years howevernevertheless remains larger than the general economic length of nations like Thailand and Argentina.

except, a crackdown on black cash has made the value of capital costlier inside the black financial system with the lending charges having risen to as high as 34 consistent with cent, from approximately24 in line with cent a yr in the past, as in keeping with the take a look at through Ambit Capital studies.

The look at said that the crackdown has had a fewaccidental consequences” in shape of an growth inpreference for coins in its physical form and a awesome decline in the utilization of formal banking channels with record low deposit boom – which can also maintain the GDP increase charge flat this year.

The time period ‘black economytypically refers to the monetary activities outdoor formal banking channels and consist of coins transactions in excessiveprice assets like gold and actual property.

given that India’s GDP in calendar 12 months 2016 is expected to be $2.3 trillion, the scale of India’s blackeconomy is ready $460 billion (over Rs 30 lakh crore), which is greater than the stated GDP of emergingmarkets like Thailand and Argentina,” Ambit Capital research said in a research be aware.

A majority of this black money is locked up in bodily assets such as real estate and gold, it added.

bodily financial savings units have been historically desired to monetary financial savingsinstruments in India due to the fact buy of physical belongings may be funded using black money, at the same time as the acquisition of financial property can not be funded in one of these manner due toa strong paper path.

whilst legit figures concerning the quantum of black money flowing into actual property sector are notavailable, experts advocate that greater than 30 according to cent of India’s actual estate region is funded through black cash.

The record said that for the reason that Narendra Modi government assumed electricity there has been aclean step-up in tests round gold transactions and it has grow to be increasingly hard to park unaccounted cash inside the form of jewellery or bullion.

due to diverse measures taken by using the authorities to tighten the noose around black cash, there was a clear drop in the expenses of land and real estate and a decline inside the urge for food in gold, itsaid.

The crackdown has, however, additionally led to growth within the desire for coins in bodily shape andsuperb decline inside the usage of formal banking channels as evinced through the decline in bankdeposits as well as utilization of debit cards.

“The combination of heightened hobby costs within the black economic system in addition to the lackof liquidity within the banking system has brought about the weighted common cost of debt capital in India growing by using 30 bps over the past one year while coverage charges had been cut by means of a hundred bps,” the file cited.

“As banks are unwilling to lend to sub-investment grade creditors because of their own NPA troubles, thiscredit demand has shifted absolutely to casual channels of lending. This, in turn, has pushed boom in lending prices in the black economic system to as high as approximately 34 in line with cent in step with annum as per our primary records resources (towards about 24 in keeping with cent a 12 monthsin the past),” it delivered.