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Facebook tightens streaming rules after NZ attacks; India may regulate OTT apps

In this biweekly Asia video spotlight feature, S&P Global Market Intelligence provides a roundup of news related to over-the-top, video-on-demand and other online video initiatives in different Asian markets.

Top news

* Facebook Inc. is introducing tougher rules for its livestreaming feature to tackle online violence following the recent mosque shooting in Christchurch, New Zealand. The tech giant will now implement a "one-strike policy" for a broader range of offenses for Facebook Live. Users who violate its most serious policies will be barred from using Facebook Live for set periods of time, while anyone who shares a statement from a terrorist group without context will be immediately blocked from using the service for some time.

* The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India is looking to regulate over-the-top apps that stream TV channels in a bid to bring them under a licensing framework similar to the one for broadcasters, The Economic Times (India) reported. Streaming apps such as Star India Pvt. Ltd.-owned Hotstar, Bharti Airtel Ltd.'s Airtel TV and Sony Pictures Networks India Pvt. Ltd.'s SonyLIV will be affected by this regulation.

Content and carriage deals

* Thailand-based telco Advanced Info Service PCL said that subscribers of its video-on-demand platforms AIS Play and AIS Playbox can now watch the whole "Game of Thrones" series from season 1 to season 8. AIS Play and AIS Playbox subscriptions are also available to customers of rival networks.

* Sony Corp. and Microsoft Corp. have teamed up to enhance customer experiences in their direct-to-consumer entertainment platforms and artificial intelligence services. Under a memorandum of understanding signed by the parties, the companies will work to develop cloud services in Microsoft Azure to support their respective game and content-streaming services.

* Canada's QYOU Media Inc. struck a deal with SonyLIV to bring The Q India's 24/7 linear stream of digital-first content to Indian customers.

* Netflix Inc. secured the rights to "Douglas," a stand-up show by Australian comedian Hannah Gadsby. According to The Sydney Morning Herald, the hourlong comedy special will be available on the streaming platform in 2020.

* In other Netflix news, the streaming giant signed a deal with Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.-owned video service Youku Tudou Inc. to add another Chinese-language series to its content slate. The streaming giant acquired the rights to 24 episodes of the romantic comedy "I Hear You," which will be available in 190 countries and regions.

Service launches

* Indonesian media company PT Media Nusantara Citra Tbk will introduce a new digital platform in the third quarter, CNBC Indonesia reported. The platform, which will be called RCTI+, will offer free-to-air TV offerings, library and other creative content for its users.

* LINE Corp. rolled out a new feature called "Stories" on its app that allows users to post videos, photos or text that disappears after 24 hours.

* Tencent Holdings Ltd. launched its video streaming app WeTV in Taiwan, Techweb reported. WeTV's content, which is in traditional Chinese, can be accessed for NT$190 per month, according to KrASIA.

Other news

* NYSE-listed Chinese livestreaming platform HUYA Inc. plans to expand its presence in the U.S. in a year or two, Ifeng reported.

* Tencent-backed DouYu International Holdings Ltd. has set up a livestreaming subsidiary in Wuhan, China, Sina reported. The company has a registered capital of 10 million yuan and has listed telecommunications services, internet information services, online music, online gaming and virtual currency issuance as its scope of business.

* Foxtel Cable Television Pty. Ltd., owner of streaming services Foxtel Now and Foxtel Go, is considering cutting sport and programming costs, as well as hiking subscription fees in a bid to turn around its declining profits, The Australian Financial Review reported.

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