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YouTube Channels to Require a License, To Cost Rs.5 Lakh

From now on YouTube channels in Nepal will require a license to air their video content. In a sensational move, the government of Nepal brought all internet-based video content providers including YouTube channels into its regulation after making its 11th amendment to the National Broadcasting Rules 052. Now, YouTube changes, OTT, VoD, and IPTV all will be directly accountable to the government.

The government has already published the amendment on the Rajpatra (Nepali Gazette) and that means the rules will be effective very soon.

Before this, the online video content providers catered their content with oversight to the government. But with the rules in place, they will need registration, cache servers (in some cases), and also pay license fees before they could offer their services to the audience.

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What does the amendment state?

The amendment has defined content broadcast over the internet as online television. This includes videos we see on YouTube, OTT, and IPTVs, and via other platforms that require an active internet connection. Meanwhile, Sub-rule 2 of Rule 2 recognizes OTT as a service via the internet without cable or satellite. Similarly, the government describes Video on Demand (VoD) as a service by a licensed company besides television within its own network.

YouTube channels requires a license in Nepal
The government regulates Internet TV | Source Rajpatra

The amendment hooks all internet-based services to its regulation including YouTube channels and identifies than as online TV. By its, te government means, the audio-visual contents regularly broadcast by individuals or a group. Meanwhile, the ruling sternly points out that any company that fails to adhere to its established criteria won’t get a license.

The amendment defines regularly aired audio-visual content online by individuals or a group as online TV (internet TV). And they will need to adhere to the government’s terms and conditions for their content broadcast.

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Video content ratings

The new amendment to the internet-based content includes a fair share of OTT or Over the Top content. The OTT platforms are rising in Nepal. The access to smartphones and cheaper data has made on-the-go video services more popular among the young demography.

And they had been running without the government’s regulation for long. But finally, they will have to adhere to the government’s ruling.

Besides, the government has also specified ratings for contents by age groups. If the content is suitable for all age groups, the government says, the OTT provider must rate it ‘U’. If video content is viewable for 10 – 18 years old, it gets an ‘r’ rating. Meanwhile, for 18+ it gets an ‘A’ rating.

Age groupsRatings
For allU
10 – 18R

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License Fees for YouTube and other platforms

From now on, the internet-based content providers must pay a sum to obtain a license. Among all, the OTT platforms will need to pay the highest amount. As per the ruling, an OTT must pay a 1 crore sum to obtain a license. For a YouTube channel, the charge is set for 5 lakh. Similarly, a company can acquire its VoD license for 2 lakh.

Video PlatformsLicense fees (NPR)
OTT1 crore
VoD2 lakh
Online Television (YouTube Channel)5 lakh

The ruling brings all internet-based platforms including YouTube into the government’s regulation. And this has been the result of a long effort by the government over the years. As the rules have been published on Rajpatra, they will go into effect immediately.

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What is your remark on YouTube channels requiring a license? Do you approve of this or have critical reservations? You can drop your opinion in the comments below.

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