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OTT platforms that host live feed of news channels not bound by 26% FDI: MIB

In 2019, the department of promotion of industry and internal trade(DPIIT) capped FDI in aggregating, uploading, and streaming news and current affair content.

The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) issued a clarification that that the stipulation of a 26% foreign direct investment (FDI) limit does not apply to OTT platforms that host digital feeds of news channel.

In 2019, the Department of Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) capped FDI to 26% in aggregating, uploading, streaming of news and current affair content. In the previous order, it was interpreted that TV news feed could not be hosted by OTT, which has 26% foreign investment. 

MIB released a statement today that stated, “TV news channels granted permission under the Uplinking and Downlinking Guidelines, 2022 (and the earlier Guidelines of 2005 of and 2011) of the ministry of information and broadcasting and their entities operating the digital news content are already covered by FDI policy of the central government. Accordingly, when an OTT platform hosts the digital feed of a TV news channel (granted permission under the extant guidelines), the stipulation of FDI limit of 26% with government approval route would not apply to the OTT platform for the mere activity of hosting such feed."

The report added, "It is accordingly clarified that when an OTT platform is hosting digital feed of a TV news channel granted permission under the extant Uplinking & Downlinking Guidelines, only as a medium and makes it available to its subscribers/users, such an OTT platform is not covered under the 26% FDI rule."

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