The government’s inclination to dominate all spheres of public life finds reflection in the Draft Broadcasting (Services) Regulation Bill, 2023. Though the intent of the law, which has been put up for public comment for 30 days, is sensible, the detailed provisions have raised apprehensions in the broadcasting industry, including over-the-top (OTT) platforms. The Bill seeks to introduce a consolidated legal framework for the broadcasting industry and extend it to OTT content, digital news, and current affairs, replacing the Cable Television Network (Regulation) Act of 1995, which currently governs the broadcasting industry. The government has said the Bill would aid its vision of furthering “Ease of Doing Business” and “Ease of Living” in the country.
To be sure, the draft