The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has recently released the Broadcasting Services Regulation Bill, 2023(Broadcasting Bill), and put it out for public consultation. In the event of the Bill becoming an Act, it shall be a constructive attempt at regulating the new age OTT platforms and creative content over the larger media. The ramifications however have other concerns that need a closer scrutiny. The purpose of centralizing the content and unifying the technological process through this policy framing may not necessarily democratize the paraphernalia of such broadcasting exercise, for it shall render systemic control and statesponsored scrutiny in its folds. With the commercialization of global media in the last three decades, India has come to the forefront of such a revolution in terms of content as well as in embracing the technological advancement in the sector. Robertsonaptly describes the concept of the changing media landscape as ‘glocalized’, a necessity in times of frailing and fragile state subsidies on the content generated. Thus, every decade brought with it a necessary change and the Government felt the need to finally replace the Cable Television Networks Act with the new Broadcasting Bill, which would perhaps see the light of the day as an Act of Parliament sooner. What is intriguing in the new bill is a bunch of terminological misses, culminating in an otherwise carefully maneuvered document that expands the power of the MIB and the Government over new media like OTT. Like the traditional media broadcasting services like cable, radio, and so on, the OTT broadcasting services have been brought under the purview of the Bill. In recent times, the Government has brought amendments to the Government of India (Allocation of Business) Rules, 2023, and brought Films and audiovisual programs made by online content creators, and online producers among other things that have been put under the scanner of MIB. This had doubled the chances of censoring those entities critiquing the Government through such online platforms. The bill’s approach to integrating OTT platforms under the purview of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) mirrors global trends where governments are increasingly seeking to regulate digital content. However, it sparks a debate on the thin line between regulation and control. While the intent to regulate is justified in the context of misinformation and digital ethics, the implementation raises concerns about potential overreach. Comparatively, the Cable Television Networks Act, which the new bill seeks to replace, was framed in a different era of media consumption, primarily focusing on traditional broadcasting mediums. The Broadcasting Bill, of 2023, expands its ambit to encompass the digital age but, in doing so, it risks over-centralization of control. This centralization can lead to a homogenization of content, stifling the creative diversity that is the hallmark of the digital era. Such a scenario is antithetical to the concept of a free and diverse media landscape, an essential component of any vibrant democracy. Internationally, countries like the United Kingdom and Canada have implemented regulations for digital and OTT platforms, balancing the need for regulation with the preservation of creative freedom. The UK’s Office of Communications (Ofcom), for instance, maintains a regulatory environment that is firm yet flexible enough to accommodate the evolving nature of digital content. The Broadcasting Bill, of 2023, however, seems to lean more towards stringent control rather than flexible regulation, potentially curtailing the creative liberties that digital platforms have so far enjoyed in India. The bill’s introduction of Content Evaluation Committees for self-regulation is a double-edged sword. While it ostensibly promotes accountability, the composition and functioning of these committees need to be transparent and independent to avoid becoming tools for censorship or political bias. There’s a risk that these committees could inadvertently become gatekeepers, restricting content that is critical or does not align with the prevailing political narrative. Furthermore, the bill’s ambiguity in terms like “public interest” and “national interest” needs clarification. Vague terminologies provide room for subjective interpretations, potentially leading to arbitrary decision-making. This lack of precision could lead to a chilling effect on content creators, who might self-censor to avoid falling foul of these broad definitions. To address these shortcomings, the final version of the bill must incorporate clear, well-defined criteria for content regulation. The government should consider establishing a multi-stakeholder body, including representatives from the media industry, legal experts, and civil society, to oversee the implementation of the bill. This body should work towards ensuring that the regulation of digital content is balanced, and transparent, and upholds the fundamental right to freedom of expression. In conclusion, while the Broadcasting Bill, of 2023, is a step towards ack n owl e d g i n g a n d regulating the rapidly evolving digital media space, it needs significant refinements. It is crucial that the final act strikes a balance between regulation and freedom, ensuring the vibrant diversity of India’s digital content landscape is not compromised in the pursuit of regulation. The goal should be to create a regulatory environment that is robust yet flexible, capable of adapting to the dynamic nature of digital media, and respectful of the principles of artistic freedom and democratic expression.