Policymakers should create single national policy for M&E sector: K Madhavan

K Madhavan shared his address at the CII Big Picture Summit concluded on Wednesday.

Mumbai: Policymakers should create a single national policy for the media and entertainment sector, said CII national committee chairman and The Walt Disney Company and Star India country manager and president K Madhavan at the 10th edition of the CII Big Picture Summit on Wednesday. “Regulations like new tariff order (NTO) 1 and 2 did not address the interests of any stakeholders including consumers,” Madhavan stated.

The event was attended by Trai chairman Dr PD Vaghela and ministry of information and broadcasting secretary Apurva Chandra. The summit was a gathering of stakeholders in the media and entertainment industry to achieve the goal of reaching $100 billion.

In his speech, Madhavan noted that given the “power and influence” of the TV broadcast industry, it is essential that it be allowed to “freely flourish” with the power to “self-regulate.” “Self-regulatory bodies for both TV and digital are working extremely well in India, and have proved that they can effectively handle complaints and concerns without any interference from policymakers and regulators,” he said.

He acknowledged Dr Vaghela for taking a keen interest to address the concerns of the industry on priority and hoped for a “positive and proactive” approach from the regulator going forward. Madhavan stressed the need for a national policy that could guide regulators for years to come and ensure that consumers, the industry, and all stakeholders find certainty and clarity in equal measure.

The Indian media and entertainment industry is creating 2500 hours of original content each year for OTT and over 100,000 hours of content for television. The gaming industry caters to 420 million casual gamers and the AVGC sector provides high-quality, cost-effective content for the global market. The M&E industry also promotes India’s soft power across the world, in addition to directly and indirectly employing 4.5 million people. Ancillary industries like education, tourism, and even software are all boosted as the creative economy grows.

Madhavan observed, “Ten years back, television had started migrating customers to digital, and HD channels were just being launched. There were barely 13 million broadband subscribers, and users spent only eight hours a month watching videos online. Today, we have about 800 million broadband internet users and 600 million smartphone users, and Indians watch over five hours of online video content a day compared to the global average of four hours a day. India is a digitally active country with a massive and diverse consumer base with a very high level of appetite for entertainment.”

“Our film industry is eager to bounce back from the pandemic. CII, working alongside the Government of India, will seek to represent India at all the major film festivals in the upcoming year,” he concluded.

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