Rules called for foreign OTT

Rules called for foreign OTT

A group of local over-the-top (OTT) operators have urged the national broadcasting regulator to establish the same standards for foreign players to create a level playing field in the industry.

Company registration and filing for starting a company should be imposed on foreign OTT giants like Facebook, YouTube, Line and Netflix in the drive to combat rampant piracy on OTT.

The call was made after a meeting of Thai OTT video operators, who pay fees based on Subscription Video on Demand or SVoD and Advertising-Based Video on Demand or AVoD such as BBTV's Bugaboo, 3Live, Monomaxxx, LINE TV and GMM Grammy.

The NBTC will call on the top 100 popular content providers on YouTube and Facebook to participate in a forum to discuss regulatory policies for OTT services. The forum is scheduled to take place from June 6-7.

The popular content providers on Facebook are defined as the top 100 accounts with the most followers.

Col Natee Sukolrat, vice-chairman of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC), said all players should be made to abide by the same standards in order to make it easier to control sensitive issues aired via OTT services.

A group of Thai OTT video operators also suggested that the NBTC ask foreign OTT operators to register as well as provide basic information to the regulator in order allow it to rein in the piracy problem.

But there is no panacea for OTT-related issues since there is no clear definition classifying what OTT is, while Thailand still lacks proper policies governing OTT operators.

Col Natee said that the NBTC would discuss this issue with OTT operators and seeks ways to create a fair platform for Thai and foreign entities.

On April 24, the NBTC ruled that video-on-demand from OTT service providers should be categorised as a broadcast business.

He said the ruling should be taken into account and the subcommittee is set to conclude the issue and establish a clear policy governing OTT operators by August.

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