Bhutan allows OTT platforms to self regulate content

In a liberal measure seen as beneficial to the country's growing creative industry, digital content on OTT platforms in Bhutan will not need to go through the existing reviews and certification process as the country’s National Film Commission Secretariat (NFCS) has exempted these platforms from such filtering

Jul 23, 2021
Image
Bhutan allows OTT platforms

In a liberal measure seen as beneficial to the country's growing creative industry, digital content on OTT platforms in Bhutan will not need to go through the existing reviews and certification process as the country’s National Film Commission Secretariat (NFCS) has exempted these platforms from such filtering.  Early this week, the NFCS and over-the-top (OTT) platforms–Samuh and Songyalaand -- signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), allowing OTT platforms to self-regulate their digital content. 

The OTT platforms were beneficial to the film producers because they provided an opportunity to sell their films or tie up with OTT platforms to create content, Tenzin Gyeltshen, the head of the NFCS, said. 

“It not only benefits the filmmakers but also youth in the creative industry,” he was quoted as saying by Kuensel newspaper.

Since the Covid restrictions, cinema halls have remained closed since March last year, resulting in the delay of the release of several films. The situation has given the added advantage to local OTT platforms which focus on creating content for the local audiences in Bhutan. 

Anywhere in the world, OTT contents are not regulated, Tenzin said, adding it was challenging for the NFCS with a small set-up to review contents that were continuously created for OTT platforms.

Under the MOU, the OTT platforms would still be needed to apply for filming permits from NFCS and acquire any other required approvals from relevant authorities and agencies.

“The NFCS shall seek the support of the Media Council of Bhutan, the legitimate government agency charged with the responsibility to look after media content, to monitor and evaluate the OTT contents”, stated that MoU.

(SAM)