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Communications Bill


Communications Bill
Part 3 — Television and Radio Services
Chapter 4 — Regulatory provisions

    232

 

           (a)           specify, and comment on, whatever changes appear to OFCOM to have

occurred, during the period to which the report relates, in the extent to

which the purposes of public service television broadcasting in the

United Kingdom have been satisfied;

           (b)           specify, and comment on, whatever changes appear to OFCOM to have

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occurred, during that period, in the manner in which those purposes

are fulfilled;

           (c)           set out the findings of OFCOM on their consideration of the matters

mentioned in subsection (7) and any conclusions they have arrived at

in relation to those findings; and

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           (d)           set out OFCOM’s conclusions on the current state of public service

television broadcasting in the United Kingdom.

     (9)    In performing their duties under this section, OFCOM must have regard, in

particular, to—

           (a)           every statement of programme or service policy which has been made

15

by virtue of this Chapter by a public service broadcaster, or which is

treated as such a statement;

           (b)           every equivalent statement of policy made by the BBC in pursuance of

any agreement between the BBC and the Secretary of State; and

           (c)           such matters arising at times before the coming into force of this section

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as OFCOM consider material.

     (10)   Every report prepared by OFCOM under this section must be published by

them—

           (a)           as soon as practicable after its preparation is complete; and

           (b)           in such manner as they consider appropriate.

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     (11)   The following are relevant television services for the purposes of this section—

           (a)           the television broadcasting services provided by the BBC;

           (b)           the television programme services that are public services of the Welsh

Authority (within the meaning of section 204);

           (c)           every Channel 3 service;

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           (d)           Channel 4;

           (e)           Channel 5;

           (f)           the public teletext service.

     (12)   The following are public service broadcasters for the purposes of this section—

           (a)           the BBC;

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           (b)           the Welsh Authority;

           (c)           the providers of the licensed public service channels; and

           (d)           the public teletext provider.

 261   Public service remits of licensed providers

     (1)    The regulatory regime for every licensed public service channel, and for the

40

public teletext service, includes a condition requiring the provider of the

channel or service to fulfil the public service remit for that channel or service.

     (2)    The public service remit—

           (a)           for every Channel 3 service, and

           (b)           for Channel 5,

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            is the provision of a range of high quality and diverse programming.

 

 

Communications Bill
Part 3 — Television and Radio Services
Chapter 4 — Regulatory provisions

    233

 

     (3)    The public service remit for Channel 4 is the provision of a broad range of high

quality and diverse programming which, in particular—

           (a)           demonstrates innovation, experiment and creativity in the form and

content of programmes;

           (b)           appeals to the tastes and interests of a culturally diverse society;

5

           (c)           makes a significant contribution to meeting the need for the licensed

public service channels to include programmes of an educational

nature and other programmes of educative value; and

           (d)           exhibits a distinctive character.

     (4)    The public service remit for the public teletext service is the provision of a

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range of high quality and diverse text material.

     (5)    For so long as the public teletext service comprises both—

           (a)           an analogue teletext service, and

           (b)           a teletext service provided in digital form,

            the conditions imposed under this section must require the public service remit

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of the public teletext service to be fulfilled separately in the case of each of those

services.

 262   Statements of programme policy

     (1)    The regulatory regime for every licensed public service channel includes a

condition requiring the provider of the channel—

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           (a)           as soon as practicable after the coming into force of this section and

subsequently at annual intervals, to prepare a statement of programme

policy; and

           (b)           to monitor his own performance in the carrying out of the proposals

contained in the statements made in pursuance of the condition.

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     (2)    The condition must require every statement of programme policy prepared in

accordance with the condition to set out the proposals of the provider of the

channel for securing that, during the following year—

           (a)           the public service remit for the channel will be fulfilled; and

           (b)           the duties imposed on the provider by virtue of sections 273 to 291 will

30

be performed.

     (3)    The condition must also require every such statement to contain a report on the

performance of the provider of the channel in the carrying out, during the

period since the previous statement, of the proposals contained in that

statement.

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     (4)    The condition must also provide that every such statement—

           (a)           must be prepared having regard to guidance given by OFCOM;

           (b)           must be prepared taking account of the reports previously published

by OFCOM under sections 260 and 351;

           (c)           must take special account of the most recent such reports;

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           (d)           must be published by the provider of the channel in question as soon as

practicable after its preparation is complete; and

           (e)           must be published in such manner as, having regard to any guidance

given by OFCOM, the provider considers appropriate.

     (5)    In preparing guidance about the preparation of such a statement, OFCOM

45

must have regard, in particular, to the matters which, in the light of the

 

 

Communications Bill
Part 3 — Television and Radio Services
Chapter 4 — Regulatory provisions

    234

 

     (5)    provisions of section 260(4) and (6), they consider should be included in

statements of programme policy.

     (6)    It shall be the duty of OFCOM—

           (a)           from time to time to review the guidance for the time being in force for

the purposes of this section; and

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           (b)           to make such revisions of that guidance as they think fit.

     (7)    The conditions of a licence to provide a licensed public service channel may

provide that a previous statement of policy made by the provider of the

channel is to be treated for the purposes of this Part—

           (a)           as if it were a statement made in relation to such period as may be so

10

specified; and

           (b)           were a statement of programme policy for the purposes of a condition

imposed under this section.

     (8)    The reference in subsection (7) to a previous statement of policy is a reference

to any statement made by the provider of the channel—

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           (a)           whether before or after the commencement of this section, for the

purposes of his application for a Broadcasting Act licence for the

channel; or

           (b)           at any time before the commencement of this section, for any other

purpose.

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     (9)    A condition under subsection (7) cannot contain provision the effect of which

is to postpone the time at which a licence holder is required to make the first

statement of programme policy which (apart from that subsection) he is

required to make in pursuance of a condition imposed under this section.

 263   Changes of programme policy

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     (1)    The regulatory regime for every licensed public service channel includes a

condition requiring compliance with subsection (2) in the case of a statement

of programme policy containing proposals for a significant change.

     (2)    This subsection requires the provider of the channel—

           (a)           to consult OFCOM before preparing the statement; and

30

           (b)           to take account, in the preparation of the statement, of any opinions

expressed to the provider of the channel by OFCOM.

     (3)    A condition imposed under this section must further provide that, if it appears

to OFCOM that a statement of programme policy has been prepared by the

provider of the channel in contravention of a condition imposed under

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subsection (1), the provider is—

           (a)           to revise that statement in accordance with any directions given to him

by OFCOM; and

           (b)           to publish a revision of the statement in accordance with any such

directions only after the revision has been approved by OFCOM.

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     (4)    A change is a significant change for the purposes of this section if it is a change

as a result of which the channel would in any year be materially different in

character from in previous years.

     (5)    In determining for the purposes of any condition under this section whether a

change is a significant change—

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           (a)           regard must be had to any guidance issued by OFCOM;

 

 

Communications Bill
Part 3 — Television and Radio Services
Chapter 4 — Regulatory provisions

    235

 

           (b)           the changes to be considered include any changes that, together with

any proposed change for a particular year, would constitute a change

occurring gradually over a period of not more than three years; and

           (c)           the previous years with which a comparison is to be made must be

those immediately preceding the year in which the change is made, or

5

in which the changes comprised in it began to occur.

     (6)    It shall be the duty of OFCOM—

           (a)           from time to time to review the guidance for the time being in force for

the purposes of this section; and

           (b)           to make such revisions of that guidance as they think fit.

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 264   Statements of service policy by the public teletext provider

     (1)    The regulatory regime for the public teletext service includes a condition

requiring the public teletext provider—

           (a)           as soon as practicable after the coming into force of this section and

subsequently at annual intervals, to prepare a statement of service

15

policy; and

           (b)           to monitor his own performance in the carrying out of the proposals

contained in statements made in pursuance of the condition.

     (2)    The condition must require every statement of service policy prepared in

accordance with the condition to set out the proposals of the public teletext

20

provider for securing that, during the following year, the public service remit

for the public teletext service will be fulfilled.

     (3)    The condition must also require every such statement to contain a report on the

performance of the public teletext provider in the carrying out, during the

period since the previous statement, of the proposals contained in that

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statement.

     (4)    The condition must provide that the proposals or report for a period in the

course of which the public teletext service will comprise or has comprised

both—

           (a)           an analogue teletext service, and

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           (b)           a teletext service provided in digital form,

            must deal separately with each of those services.

     (5)    The condition must also provide that every statement in pursuance of the

condition—

           (a)           must be prepared having regard to guidance given by OFCOM;

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           (b)           must be prepared taking account of the reports previously published

by OFCOM under sections 260 and 351;

           (c)           must take special account of the most recent such reports;

           (d)           must be published by the public teletext provider as soon as practicable

after its preparation is complete; and

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           (e)           must be published in such manner as, having regard to any guidance

given by OFCOM, that provider considers appropriate.

     (6)    In preparing guidance about the preparation of such a statement, OFCOM

must have regard, in particular, to the matters which, in the light of the

provisions of section 260(4) and (6), they consider should be included in

45

statements of service policy by the public teletext provider.

 

 

Communications Bill
Part 3 — Television and Radio Services
Chapter 4 — Regulatory provisions

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     (7)    It shall be the duty of OFCOM—

           (a)           from time to time to review the guidance for the time being in force for

the purposes of this section; and

           (b)           to make such revisions of that guidance as they think fit.

     (8)    The conditions of the licence to provide the public teletext service may provide

5

that a previous statement of policy made by the public teletext provider is to be

treated for the purposes of this Part—

           (a)           as if it were a statement made in relation to such period as may be so

specified; and

           (b)           were a statement of service policy for the purposes of a condition

10

imposed under this section.

     (9)    The reference in subsection (8) to a previous statement of policy is a reference

to any statement made by the public teletext provider—

           (a)           whether before or after the commencement of this section, for the

purposes of his application for a Broadcasting Act licence for the public

15

teletext service or for the existing service (within the meaning of section

218); or

           (b)           at any time before the commencement of this section, for any other

purpose.

     (10)   A condition under subsection (8) cannot contain provision the effect of which

20

is to postpone the time at which a licence holder is required to make the first

statement of service policy which (apart from that subsection) he is required to

make in pursuance of a condition imposed under this section.

 265   Changes of service policy

     (1)    The regulatory regime for the public teletext service includes a condition

25

requiring compliance with subsection (2) in the case of a statement of service

policy containing proposals for a significant change.

     (2)    This subsection requires the provider of the service—

           (a)           to consult OFCOM before preparing the statement; and

           (b)           to take account, in the preparation of the statement, of any opinions

30

expressed to the provider of the service by OFCOM.

     (3)    A condition imposed under this section must further provide that, if it appears

to OFCOM that a statement of service policy has been prepared by the public

teletext provider in contravention of a condition imposed under subsection (1),

that provider is—

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           (a)           to revise that statement in accordance with any directions given to him

by OFCOM; and

           (b)           to publish a revision of the statement in accordance with any such

directions only after the revision has been approved by OFCOM.

     (4)    A change is a significant change for the purposes of this section if it is a change

40

as a result of which the service would in any year be materially different in

character from in previous years.

     (5)    In determining for the purposes of any condition under this section whether a

change is a significant change—

           (a)           regard must be had to any guidance issued by OFCOM;

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Communications Bill
Part 3 — Television and Radio Services
Chapter 4 — Regulatory provisions

    237

 

           (b)           the changes to be considered include any changes that, together with

any proposed change for a particular year, would constitute a change

occurring gradually over a period of not more than three years;

           (c)           the previous years with which a comparison is to be made must be

those immediately preceding the year in which the change is made, or

5

in which the changes comprised in it began to occur; and

           (d)           any change that is a significant change in relation to so much of the

public teletext service as is provided in digital form or in relation to so

much of it as is provided in analogue form is to be regarded as a

significant change in relation to the whole service.

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     (6)    It shall be the duty of OFCOM—

           (a)           from time to time to review the guidance for the time being in force for

the purposes of this section; and

           (b)           to make such revisions of that guidance as they think fit.

 266   Enforcement of public service remits

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     (1)    This section applies if OFCOM are of the opinion that the provider of a licensed

public service channel or the public teletext provider—

           (a)           has failed to fulfil the public service remit for that channel or the public

teletext service; or

           (b)           has failed, in any respect, to make an adequate contribution towards

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the fulfilment of the purposes of public service television broadcasting

in the United Kingdom.

     (2)    This section does not apply unless—

           (a)           OFCOM are of the opinion that the failure of the provider is serious and

is not excused by economic or market conditions; and

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           (b)           OFCOM determine that the situation requires the exercise of their

powers under this section.

     (3)    In making a determination under subsection (2)(b), OFCOM must have regard,

in particular, to—

           (a)           the public service remit of that provider;

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           (b)           the statements of programme policy or statements of service policy

made (or treated as made) by the provider under section 262 or 264;

           (c)           the record generally of the provider in relation to the carrying out of

obligations imposed by conditions of licences under the 1990 Act and

the 1996 Act (including past obligations);

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           (d)           the effectiveness and efficiency of the provider in monitoring his own

performance; and

           (e)           general economic and market conditions affecting generally the

providers of television programme services or the providers of

television multiplex services, or both of them.

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     (4)    OFCOM shall have power to give directions to the provider to do one or both

of the following—

           (a)           to revise the provider’s latest statement of programme policy, or

statement of service policy, in accordance with the directions; and

           (b)           to take such steps for remedying the provider’s failure as OFCOM may

45

specify in the direction as necessary for that purpose.

     (5)    A direction given under this section must set out—

 

 

Communications Bill
Part 3 — Television and Radio Services
Chapter 4 — Regulatory provisions

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           (a)           a reasonable timetable for complying with it; and

           (b)           the factors that will be taken into account by OFCOM in determining—

                  (i)                 whether or not a failure of the provider has been remedied; and

                  (ii)                whether or not to exercise their powers under subsection (6).

     (6)    If OFCOM are satisfied—

5

           (a)           that the provider of a public service channel or the public teletext

provider has failed to comply with a direction under this section,

           (b)           that that provider is still failing to fulfil the public service remit for that

channel or service or adequately to contribute to the fulfilment of the

purposes of public service television broadcasting in the United

10

Kingdom, and

           (c)           that it would be both reasonable and proportionate to the seriousness

of that failure to vary the provider’s licence in accordance with this

subsection,

            OFCOM may, by notice to the provider, vary that licence so as to replace self-

15

regulation with detailed regulation.

     (7)    For the purposes of subsection (6) a variation replacing self-regulation with

detailed regulation is a variation which—

           (a)           omits the conditions imposed by virtue of sections 261 to 265; and

           (b)           replaces those conditions with such specific conditions as OFCOM

20

consider appropriate for securing that the provider—

                  (i)                 fulfils the public service remit for his service; and

                  (ii)                makes an adequate contribution towards the fulfilment of the

purposes of public service television broadcasting in the United

Kingdom.

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     (8)    If, at any time following a variation in accordance with subsection (6) of a

provider’s licence, OFCOM consider that detailed regulation is no longer

necessary, they may again vary the licence so as, with effect from such time as

they may determine—

           (a)           to provide for the conditions required by virtue of sections 261 to 265

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again to be included in the regulatory regime for the service provided

by that provider; and

           (b)           to remove or modify some or all of the specific conditions inserted

under that subsection.

     (9)    Before giving a direction under this section to a provider or exercising their

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power under this section to vary a provider’s licence, OFCOM must consult

that provider.

     (10)   In accordance with section 261(5), the reference in subsection (1) to a failure to

fulfil the public service remit for the public teletext service includes a failure to

fulfil that remit as respects only one of the services comprised in that service.

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     (11)   References in this section to the purposes of public service television

broadcasting in the United Kingdom are to be construed in accordance with

subsection (4) of section 260; and subsection (5) of that section shall have effect

for the purposes of the taking of action under this section as it applies for the

purposes of a review or report under that section.

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 267   Power to amend public service remits

     (1)    The Secretary of State may by order modify any one or more of the following—

 

 

 
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