Thu, Aug 30, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Government seeks public opinion on OTT TV operators

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

The government is seeking input from the public about whether over-the-top (OTT) TV operators or offshore content developers should be regulated after the National Communications Commission publishes its first communication policy green paper tomorrow.

The purpose of publishing the green paper is to solicit public opinion on issues facing the communications industry so that the government can turn some of views into policies, the commission said in a presentation yesterday.

One of the key issues in the 107-page green paper would be whether Taiwan should regulate OTT TV operators as well online content generated by offshore companies or by Internet users, the commission said.

The nation’s broadcasting industry, including cable TV, terrestrial TV, TV channels and radio stations, has seen a decline in advertising revenue and viewership, because of competition from OTT TV and other new media, NCC spokesperson Wong Po-tsung (翁柏宗) said.

While the broadcasting industry is subject to government regulations, the government does not regulate OTT TV and Internet content produced by offshore companies or users, Wong said.

The government wants ideas from the public on how it can assist broadcasting companies to change their business models and create innovative services in the digital era, Wong said.

“Most countries around the world do not regulate OTT TV operators through the issuance of licenses,” he said. “However, we want to know if the public thinks that OTT TV operators should also be obligated to abide by government regulations under certain circumstances — such as the types of acts committed by OTT TV operators that need to be regulated — despite them not being required to hold broadcast license.”

In related news, the commission said that it is to hold an administrative hearing on the pending sale of China Networks Systems (CNS).

The case has been under scrutiny because Y.L. Lin Hung Tai Education Foundation was accused of using a public trust fund to bankroll the acquisition of CNS through two of its subsidiary firms, which could contravene the regulations governing the use of a public trust fund.

“We have held a public hearing and consulted various experts regarding the case,” Wong said. “We also need to hold an administrative hearing in which major stakeholders involved in the deal would be able to present statements.”

The commission has asked the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Justice for their opinions, he said, adding that it has yet to receive their replies.

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