IBF is the topmost body of broadcasters. Indian Broadcasting Foundation represent television broadcasting and its members provide channels and programmes that deliver about 90 per cent of television viewership in India.
Reports stated they are about to expand their purview to cover digital streaming platforms. The move would bring the broadcasters and OTT (over-the-top) platforms, which have seen a substantial jump in their viewership base after the pandemic, under one roof. They will also rename themselves as Indian Broadcasting and Digital Foundation (IBDF).
The industry body will also form a self-regulatory body called Digital Media Content Regulatory Council (DMCRC), to meet the requirements of the digital media rules. This will be similar to the Broadcast Content Complaint Council (BCCC) for the linear broadcasting (traditional, present programming) sector that has been functioning under the IBF since 2011. The ministry said in the notice around 60 publishers and their associations have informed the ministry that they have already initiated the process of forming self-regulatory bodies, as mandated by the rules. It also said there is no requirement of prior registration of digital media publishers with the ministry, but the rules would require them to furnish certain information about their businesses.
The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (I&B) has sought information from digital news websites and video streaming platforms, and released pro forma for the publishers to release the information.
In a public notice issued on 26 May 2021, the I&B ministry said the information has to be furnished under Rule 18 of the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021, which were announced by the Narendra Modi government in February this year. The new rules brought in in February had mandated both video streaming platforms and online news media set up a three-tier grievance redressal mechanism — self-regulation by publishers, a self-regulating body headed by a retired Supreme Court or high court judge, and an inter-ministerial committee to be formed by the government — to look at specific complaints and recommend action against the violation.