HTLS 2020: Country and consumers way ahead of govt regulators, says Disney India chairman Uday Shankar
Uday Shankar, (Chairman, Star and Disney India) has said that some amount of responsible behaviour is very important on part of a streaming platform as India is a sensitive country. Without mentioning a film or a show in particular, he said at the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit 2020 that a streaming platform faces backlash when the decision makers believe “what works in one country can work in every other country”.
He said on Day 4 of the virtual HTLS 2020, “More than anything else, it is an official decision. I don’t really think it matters. What is important is what will be the lens of regulation. Do we really want to be over-prescriptive or do we want creativity and imagination to have a role in this? In my experience, the country and consumers have always been way ahead of where the government and regulators believe they are. They are far more open and mature but we just seem to believe that a huge filter needs to be applied before they get anything. I don’t think it is about who manages it. How it is regulated and what is the framework is more important.”
On being asked to comment on the presence of gratuitous content on the OTT platforms, Shankar said, “We should not be insensitive to the country and the culture. We should not take the freedom for granted. Some amount of responsible behaviour is very important. This is a sensitive country. I think this is what happens when the global services come into the country and disregard everything. They believe that what works in one country can work in every country. This is the backlash.”
Meanwhile, Ajay Bijli, chairman and MD at PVR Ltd, who too was part of the session, said that he doesn’t mind the certification of the content shown on the OTT platforms. He however, added, “I think that sanctity of what is created should not be compromised at all.” He said the cuts will be ‘regressive’.
Uday was also asked to comment on the recent TRP scandal plaguing the television industry. Without going into details, he asked, “How many things the government wants to regulate? In the middle of the pandemic when so many things are trying for urgent attention, is that the most important thing?”
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