House of Lords portcullis
House of Lords
Session 2002 - 03
Internet Publications
Other Bills before Parliament

Communications Bill


Communications Bill
Part 3 — Television and Radio Services
Chapter 5 — Media ownership and control

    297

 

               person is disqualified by virtue of sub-paragraph (1) in

relation to a licence to provide that service only if he would

be so disqualified disregarding paragraph (c) of that sub-

paragraph.”

     (2)    In section 142 of the Local Government Act 1972 (c. 70) (provision by local

5

authorities of information relating to their activities), after subsection (1A)

there shall be inserted—

           “(1AA)              A local authority may—

                  (a)                 for the purpose of broadcasting or distributing information

falling within subsection (1AB), provide an electronic

10

communications network or electronic communications

service, or

                  (b)                 arrange with the provider of such a network or service for the

broadcasting or distribution of such information by means of

the network or service.

15

           (1AB)              Information falls within this subsection, in relation to a local authority,

if it is one or both of the following—

                  (a)                 information concerning the services within the area of the

authority that are provided either by the authority themselves

or by other authorities mentioned in subsection (1B) below;

20

                  (b)                 information relating to the functions of the authority.

           (1AC)              Nothing in subsection (1AA) entitles a local authority to do anything in

contravention of a requirement or restriction imposed by or under—

                  (a)                 the Wireless Telegraphy Act 1949,

                  (b)                 the Broadcasting Act 1990,

25

                  (c)                 the Broadcasting Act 1996, or

                  (d)                 the Communications Act 2003,

                         and in that subsection ‘electronic communications network’ and

‘electronic communications service’ each has the same meaning as in

the Communications Act 2003.”

30

     (3)    In section 2(1) of the Local Government Act 1986 (c. 10) (restriction on

publication by a local authority of material designed to affect support for a

political party), after “publish” there shall be inserted “, or arrange for the

publication of,”.

 342   Relaxation of licence-holding restrictions

35

     (1)    Parts 3 to 5 of Schedule 2 to the 1990 Act (restrictions on accumulations of

interests and on licence holding by newspaper proprietors and public

telecommunications providers) shall cease to have effect.

     (2)    In each of sections 5 and 88 of the 1990 Act and of sections 5 and 44 of the 1996

Act (under which the provisions of Schedule 2 to the 1990 Act are given effect),

40

for paragraph (b) of subsection (1) there shall be substituted—

                  “(b)                    that a person does not become the holder of a licence if

requirements imposed by or under Schedule 14 to the

Communications Act 2003 would be contravened were he to do

so; and

45

                  (c)                     that those requirements are not contravened in the case of a

person who already holds a licence.”

 

 

Communications Bill
Part 3 — Television and Radio Services
Chapter 5 — Media ownership and control

    298

 

     (3)    Schedule 14 (which provides for the imposition of requirements which, in the

case of Channel 3 services and certain radio services, replace those imposed by

or under Parts 3 and 4 of Schedule 2 to the 1990 Act) shall have effect.

     (4)    The Secretary of State must not by order under section 403 appoint a day falling

before the commencement day for paragraph 11 of Schedule 14 as the day for

5

the coming into force of the repeal by this Act of any of the provisions of Parts

3 and 4 of Schedule 2 to the 1990 Act so far as they relate to the holding of

licences for the provision of any local services (within the meaning of Part 3 of

that Act).

     (5)    The Secretary of State must not by order under section 403 appoint a day falling

10

before the commencement day for paragraph 12 of Schedule 14 as the day for

the coming into force of the repeal by this Act of any of the provisions of Parts

3 and 4 of Schedule 2 to the 1990 Act so far as they relate to the holding of local

digital sound programme licences or the provision of local digital sound

programme services.

15

     (6)    In this section “the commencement day”, in relation paragraph 11 or 12 of

Schedule 14, means the day on which the first order to be made under that

paragraph comes into force.

 343   Restrictions relating to nominated news providers

     (1)    In subsection (9) of section 32 of the 1990 Act (limits on participation in

20

nominated news providers), for “20 per cent.” there shall be substituted “40 per

cent.”.

     (2)    For subsection (10) of that section (connected persons treated as one person)

there shall be substituted—

           “(10)              A limit imposed in accordance with subsection (9) shall have effect—

25

                  (a)                 in relation to a participant who holds a regional Channel 3

licence, as if the persons holding such licences, together with the

persons connected with each of them, were all one person; and

                  (b)                 in relation to any other participant, as if he and the persons

connected with him were one person.”

30

     (3)    The Secretary of State may by order make provision—

           (a)           for repealing any of the provisions of subsections (8) to (11) of section

32 of the 1990 Act, or all of them; or

           (b)           for making such other modifications of those subsections as he thinks

fit.

35

     (4)    Before making an order under subsection (3) (other than one that is confined to

giving effect to recommendations made by OFCOM in a report of a review

under section 384), the Secretary of State must consult OFCOM.

     (5)    No order is to be made containing provision authorised by subsection (3)

unless a draft of the order has been laid before Parliament and approved by a

40

resolution of each House.

 

 

Communications Bill
Part 3 — Television and Radio Services
Chapter 5 — Media ownership and control

    299

 

Changes of control

 344   Changes of control of Channel 3 services

     (1)    The regulatory regime for every Channel 3 service provided by a body

corporate includes—

           (a)           a condition requiring the licence holder to give OFCOM advance

5

notification of any proposals known to the body that may give rise to a

relevant change of control; and

           (b)           a condition requiring the licence holder to provide OFCOM, in such

manner and at such times as they may reasonably require, with such

information as they consider necessary for the purposes of exercising

10

their functions under this section and section 345.

     (2)    OFCOM must carry out a review where—

           (a)           they receive notification, in accordance with a condition of a Channel 3

licence, of proposals that may give rise to a relevant change of control;

or

15

           (b)           a relevant change of control takes place (whether or not that change has

been previously notified to OFCOM).

     (3)    The review shall be a review of the effects or likely effects, in relation to the

matters mentioned in subsections (4) to (7), of—

           (a)           the change to which the proposals may give rise; or

20

           (b)           the change that has taken place.

     (4)           The matters mentioned in this subsection are—

           (a)                         the extent to which time available for broadcasting programmes

included in the service is allocated to programmes of each of the

following descriptions—

25

                  (i)                 original productions;

                  (ii)                news programmes; and

                  (iii)               current affairs programmes;

           (b)                         the extent to which programmes of each of those descriptions that are

included in the service are broadcast at peak viewing times.

30

     (5)    The matters mentioned in this subsection are—

           (a)                         the extent to which Channel 3 programmes made in the United

Kingdom that are included in the service are programmes made

outside the M25 area;

           (b)                         the range of Channel 3 programmes made in the United Kingdom

35

outside that area that are included in the service;

           (c)                         the extent to which the expenditure of the provider of the service on

Channel 3 programmes is referable to programme production at

different production centres outside the M25 area;

           (d)           the range of different such production centres to which that

40

expenditure is referable.

     (6)    The matters mentioned in this subsection are—

           (a)           the quality and range of regional programmes included in the service;

           (b)           the quality and range of other programmes included in the service

which contribute to the regional character of the service;

45

           (c)           the quality and range of the programmes made available by the licence

holder for the purposes of inclusion in the nationwide system of

 

 

Communications Bill
Part 3 — Television and Radio Services
Chapter 5 — Media ownership and control

    300

 

           (c)           services referred to in section 14(1) of the 1990 Act (nationwide Channel

3 service).

     (7)    The matters mentioned in this subsection are—

           (a)           the amount of time given, in the programmes included in the service—

                  (i)                 to regional programmes; and

5

                  (ii)                to programmes included in the service which contribute to the

regional character of the service;

           (b)           the proportion of regional programmes included in the service which

are made within the area for which the service is provided;

           (c)           the extent of the use, in connection with the service, of the services of

10

persons employed (whether by the licence holder or any other person)

within that area;

           (d)           the extent to which managerial or editorial decisions relating to

programmes to be included in the service are taken by persons so

employed within that area.

15

     (8)    In relation to a national Channel 3 service, subsections (3) to (7) have effect as

if—

           (a)           subsection (5) applied only where the service is subject to conditions

imposed by virtue of a decision of OFCOM under section 281(2) or

OFCOM otherwise consider, having regard to the nature of the service,

20

that it is appropriate to consider the matters mentioned in that

subsection;

           (b)           references to regional programmes were references to programmes

which are regional programmes (within the meaning of section 282) in

relation to that service and are included in it in accordance with a

25

condition imposed under subsection (4)(a) of that section;

           (c)           references to the regional character of the service were references to the

regional character of parts of the service;

           (d)           subsection (6)(c) of this section were omitted; and

           (e)           references, in relation to programmes such as are mentioned in

30

paragraph (b), to the area for which the service is provided were

references to the part of that area where the people are living to whom

those programmes are likely to be of particular interest.

     (9)    Where OFCOM carry out a review under subsection (2), they must publish a

report of that review—

35

           (a)           setting out their conclusions; and

           (b)           specifying any steps which they propose to take under section 345.

     (10)   In this section—

                    “Channel 3 programmes” and “expenditure” each has the same meaning

as in section 281;

40

                    “original production” has the same meaning as in section 274;

                    “peak viewing time”—

                  (a)                 in relation to original productions, means a time determined by

OFCOM for the purposes of section 274 to be a peak viewing

time for the service in question; and

45

                  (b)                 in relation to news programmes or current affairs programmes,

means a time so determined for the purposes of section 275;

 

 

Communications Bill
Part 3 — Television and Radio Services
Chapter 5 — Media ownership and control

    301

 

                    “regional programme”, in relation to a Channel 3 service, means (subject

to subsection (8)) a programme (including a news programme) which

is of particular interest—

                  (a)                 to persons living within the area for which the service is

provided;

5

                  (b)                 to persons living within a part of that area; or

                  (c)                 to particular communities living within that area;

                    “relevant change of control” means a change in the persons having control

over—

                  (a)                 a body holding the licence to provide a Channel 3 service; or

10

                  (b)                 any body which—

                      (i)                     is connected with a body holding such a licence; and

                      (ii)                    appears to OFCOM to be involved, to any extent, in the

provision of programmes for inclusion in the service

provided under that licence, or to be likely to be so

15

involved.

     (11)   Expressions used in this section and in Part 1 of Schedule 2 to the 1990 Act

(restrictions on licence holders) have the same meanings in this section as in

that Part.

 345   Action following review under s. 344

20

     (1)    If, on a review under subsection (2) of section 344, it appears to OFCOM that

the relevant change of control is or would be prejudicial to one or more of the

matters mentioned in subsections (4) to (6) of that section, they shall vary the

licence in accordance with subsection (2).

     (2)           The variation—

25

           (a)           must be made with a view to ensuring that the relevant change of

control is not prejudicial to any of the matters so mentioned; and

           (b)           must be a variation for the inclusion in the licence of such conditions

relating to any of those matters as they consider appropriate.

     (3)    If it appears to OFCOM, having regard to the matters mentioned in subsection

30

(7) of section 344

           (a)           that the proposed change of control would be prejudicial to the regional

character of the service or (as the case may be) of any parts of it, or

           (b)           that the actual change of control is so prejudicial,

            they may vary the licence so as to include in it such conditions relating to any

35

of those matters as they consider appropriate.

     (4)    Subject to subsection (5), any new or varied condition imposed under this

section in relation to any matter may be more onerous than the conditions

relating to that matter having effect before the relevant change of control.

     (5)    A variation under this section must not provide for the inclusion of a new or

40

varied condition in a licence unless the new condition, or the condition as

varied, is one which (with any necessary modifications) would have been

satisfied by the licence holder throughout the twelve months immediately

before the relevant date.

     (6)           In subsection (5) “the relevant date” is the date of the relevant change of control

45

or, if earlier, the date on which OFCOM exercise their powers under this

section.

 

 

Communications Bill
Part 3 — Television and Radio Services
Chapter 5 — Media ownership and control

    302

 

     (7)    A variation of a licence under this section shall be effected by the service of a

notice of the variation on the licence holder.

     (8)    OFCOM are not to serve a notice of a variation under this section unless they

have given the body on whom it is served a reasonable opportunity, after the

publication of the report of the review under section 344, of making

5

representations to them about the variation.

     (9)    Where, in a case of a proposed change of control, a notice varying a licence

under this section is served before the change to which it relates takes place, the

variation is not to take effect until the change takes place.

     (10)   A condition included in a licence by a variation under this section may be

10

further varied by OFCOM either—

           (a)           with the consent of the licence holder; or

           (b)           in any other case, after complying with the requirements of section

3(4)(b) of the 1990 Act (variation after giving opportunity for

representations by the licence holder).

15

     (11)   Expressions used in this section and section 344 have the same meanings in this

section as in that.

 346   Changes of control of Channel 5

     (1)    The regulatory regime for Channel 5 includes, in every case where it is

provided by a body corporate—

20

           (a)           a condition requiring the licence holder to give OFCOM advance

notification of any proposals known to the body that may give rise to a

relevant change of control; and

           (b)           a condition requiring the licence holder to provide OFCOM, in such

manner and at such times as they may reasonably require, with such

25

information as they consider necessary for the purposes of exercising

their functions under this section and section 347.

     (2)    OFCOM must carry out a review where—

           (a)           they receive notification, in accordance with a condition of the licence

to provide Channel 5, of proposals that may give rise to a relevant

30

change of control; or

           (b)           a relevant change of control takes place (whether or not that change has

been previously notified to OFCOM).

     (3)    The review shall be a review of the effects or likely effects, in relation to the

matters mentioned in subsections (4) and (5), of—

35

           (a)           the change to which the proposals may give rise; or

           (b)           the change that has taken place.

     (4)    The matters mentioned in this subsection are—

           (a)                         the extent to which time available for broadcasting programmes

included in Channel 5 is allocated to programmes of each of the

40

following descriptions—

                  (i)                 original productions;

                  (ii)                news programmes; and

                  (iii)               current affairs programmes;

           (b)                         the extent to which programmes of each of those descriptions that are

45

included in that Channel are broadcast at peak viewing times.

 

 

Communications Bill
Part 3 — Television and Radio Services
Chapter 5 — Media ownership and control

    303

 

     (5)           The matters mentioned in this subsection are—

           (a)                         the extent to which programmes made in the United Kingdom that are

included in the service are programmes made outside the M25 area;

           (b)                         the range of programmes made in the United Kingdom outside that

area that are included in Channel 5;

5

           (c)                         the extent to which the expenditure of the provider of Channel 5 on

programmes made in the United Kingdom is referable to programme

production at different production centres outside the M25 area;

           (d)           the range of different such production centres to which that

expenditure is referable.

10

     (6)    Where OFCOM carry out a review under subsection (2), they must publish a

report of that review—

           (a)           setting out their conclusions; and

           (b)           specifying any steps which they propose to take under section 347.

     (7)    In this section—

15

                    “expenditure”, in relation to a programme, means—

                  (a)                 expenditure which constitutes an investment in or is otherwise

attributable to the making of the programme; or

                  (b)                 expenditure on the commissioning or other acquisition of the

programme or on the acquisition of a right to include it in a

20

service or to have it broadcast;

                    “original production” has the same meaning as in section 274;

                    “peak viewing time”—

                  (a)                 in relation to original productions, means a time determined by

OFCOM for the purposes of section 274 to be a peak viewing

25

time for Channel 5; and

                  (b)                 in relation to news programmes or current affairs programmes,

means a time so determined for the purposes of section 275;

                    “relevant change of control” means a change in the persons having control

over—

30

                  (a)                 a body holding a licence to provide Channel 5; or

                  (b)                 any body which—

                      (i)                     is connected with a body holding such a licence; and

                      (ii)                    appears to OFCOM to be involved, to any extent, in the

provision of programmes for inclusion in that channel, or

35

to be likely to be so involved.

     (8)    Expressions used in this section and in Part 1 of Schedule 2 to the 1990 Act

(restrictions on licence holders) have the same meanings in this section as in

that Part.

 347   Action following review under s. 346

40

     (1)    If, on a review under subsection (2) of section 346, it appears to OFCOM that

the relevant change of control is or would be prejudicial to one or more of the

matters mentioned in subsections (4) and (5) of that section, they shall vary the

licence in accordance with subsection (2).

     (2)           The variation—

45

           (a)           must be made with a view to ensuring that the relevant change of

control is not prejudicial to any of the matters so mentioned; and

 

 

 
previous section contents continue
 
House of Lords home page Houses of Parliament home page House of Commons home page search page enquiries

© Parliamentary copyright 2003
Revised 7 March 2003