The TDSAT order directed broadcasters to furnish information about their content made available on OTT platforms
The contentious TDSAT order was based on a directive given by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India
Broadcasters such as Star India, Sun TV, and Sony had approached the Delhi HC against the TDSAT order
The Delhi High Court has stayed the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal’s (TDSAT’s) order directing broadcasters to furnish information about their content made available on over-the-top (OTT) platforms.
“Prima facie, the court finds itself unable to sustain the order of September 20 by TDSAT,” the Delhi HC’s order, dated September 28, said.
The contentious TDSAT order was based on the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s (TRAI’s) directive to television networks to submit details on content made available on their own OTT platforms as well as third-party applications.
Following the TDSAT order, broadcasters such as Star India, Sun TV, and Sony had approached the Delhi HC. All three broadcasters run their respective OTT platforms – Disney+Hotstar, SunNXT, and SonyLIV.
Last year, TRAI had directed the broadcasters to furnish information regarding the streaming of live linear channels by them on their OTT platforms. The broadcasters argued before the Delhi HC that TRAI has no jurisdiction over OTT services. They claimed that these services are beyond the scope, power and authority of the TRAI Act.
“The court also notes that the issue of applicability of the Information Technology Rules, 2021, to OTT platforms and the regulation of those platforms are a matter pending consideration before the Supreme Court. This matter requires consideration,” the court said in its order.
Justice Yashwant Varma also stayed the ongoing proceedings involving the broadcasters before the TDSAT.
In India, all the traditional broadcasters run streaming services where they air linear TV content on those services as well. Most of the homegrown broadcasters-led OTT players run a freemium model where the catch-up content remains free for users and earn revenue from advertising.
The country’s OTT market is crowded with the presence of multiple players like Disney+Hotstar, SonyLIV, Netflix, Amazon, ALTBalaji, Voot, among others. According to Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur, India’s OTT market is expected to grow to $2 Bn by 2024.
Earlier this year, Viacom18 won the digital rights of the Indian Premier League (IPL) for its OTT platform for a whooping INR 23,758 Cr, highlighting the value the companies see in India’s OTT market.