Centre to launch OTT platform with ‘decent’ shows

Aiming to compete with private platforms such as Netflix and Hotstar, public service broadcaster Prasar Bharati is mulling to start its own over-the-top (OTT) platform from August, reported The Print on 13 May.

The news website noted that the government’s public service broadcaster will air content for free the first year or two, adding, it would be a ‘clean’ OTT platform with programmes the entire family can sit together and watch.

“Currently, some of the content on OTT platforms are bordering on vulgar, abusive language. It becomes embarrassing to watch it with your family. We want to offer a platform which is decent and promotes India’s culture and nationalist values…. Something that you can sit with your entire family and watch,” The Print quoted an official as saying.

Earlier, the Modi government had stated its plan to launch an OTT platform in its 100-day agenda, in case it returns to power after 2024 Lok Sabha Elections.

“There is a huge gap now. The entertainment quotient of OTTs is very polluted. Our focus will be to ensure clean entertainment, promote social and nationalistic values,” the official added.

Apart from ‘clean’ content, the OTT platform will also offer programmes having current affairs.

Though the content will be aired for free for initial years, but after feedback, the Prasar Bharati will fix the charges. “As of now, we are working to launch it in August,” the official quoted earlier said.

Ahead of its OTT platform launch, the Prasar Bharati has approved a list of content providers, including Sri Adhikari brothers, big names of television content production, producer and director Vipul Shah, and others.

“We have had a meeting with the content providers and given them the broad outline of what we want. They will now get back to us with their concept note,” the official said.

Earlier in September 2023, the Prasar Bharati floated a draft tender to design, develop, commission, operate and maintain its own OTT streaming platform.

Meanwhile in March 2024, the Information and Broadcasting Ministry had blocked public access to 18 OTT platforms and social media accounts under the provisions of the Information Technology Act, 2000, citing they were publishing “vulgar and obscene” content.

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Published: 13 May 2024, 05:54 PM IST

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