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Communications Bill


Communications Bill
Part 3 — Television and Radio Services
Chapter 1 — The BBC, C4C the Welsh Authority and the Gaelic media service

    178

 

Part 3

Television and Radio Services

Chapter 1

The BBC, C4C the Welsh Authority and the Gaelic media service

The BBC

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 196   Functions of OFCOM in relation to the BBC

     (1)    It shall be a function of OFCOM, to the extent that provision for them to do so

is contained in—

           (a)           the BBC Charter and Agreement, and

           (b)           the provisions of this Act and of Part 5 of the 1996 Act,

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            to regulate the provision of the BBC’s services and the carrying on by the BBC

of other activities for purposes connected with the provision of those services.

     (2)    For the purposes of the carrying out of that function OFCOM—

           (a)           are to have such powers and duties as may be conferred on them by or

under the BBC Charter and Agreement; and

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           (b)           are entitled, to the extent that they are authorised to do so by the

Secretary of State or under the terms of that Charter and Agreement, to

act on his behalf in relation to that Charter and Agreement.

     (3)    The BBC must pay OFCOM such penalties in respect of contraventions by the

BBC of provision made by or under—

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           (a)           this Part, or

           (b)           the BBC Charter and Agreement,

            as are imposed by OFCOM in exercise of powers conferred on them by that

Charter and Agreement.

     (4)    The BBC are also to be liable to pay OFCOM such sums in respect of the

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carrying out by OFCOM of their functions in relation to the BBC as may be—

           (a)           agreed from time to time between the BBC and OFCOM; or

           (b)           (in default of agreement) fixed by the Secretary of State.

     (5)    The maximum penalty that may be imposed on the BBC on any occasion by

OFCOM in exercise of a power conferred by virtue of the BBC Charter and

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Agreement is £250,000.

     (6)    The Secretary of State may by order substitute a different sum for the sum for

the time being specified in subsection (5).

     (7)    No order is to be made containing provision authorised by subsection (6)

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

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resolution of each House.

     (8)    It shall be the duty of OFCOM to have regard to their functions under this

section when carrying out their functions under the 1990 Act, the 1996 Act and

this Part in relation to services provided by persons other than the BBC.

     (9)    In this section “the BBC’s services” means such of the services provided by the

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BBC (excluding the services comprised in the World Service) as are of a

 

 

Communications Bill
Part 3 — Television and Radio Services
Chapter 1 — The BBC, C4C the Welsh Authority and the Gaelic media service

    179

 

description of service which, if provided by a BBC company, would fall to be

regulated by OFCOM by virtue of section 209 or 243.

C4C

 197   Functions of C4C

     (1)    The activities that C4C are able to carry on include any activities which appear

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to them—

           (a)           to be activities that it is appropriate for them to carry on in association

with the carrying out of their primary functions; and

           (b)           to be connected, otherwise than merely in financial terms, with

activities undertaken by them for the carrying out of those functions.

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     (2)    C4C’s primary functions are—

           (a)           securing the continued provision of Channel 4; and

           (b)           the fulfilment of the public service remit for that Channel under section

263.

     (3)    Section 24(5)(b) and (6) of the 1990 Act (power of C4C to establish, acquire an

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interest in or assist a qualifying company) shall cease to have effect.

     (4)    For sub-paragraphs (3) and (4) of paragraph 1 of Schedule 3 to the 1990 Act

(power of C4C to do things incidental or conducive to the carrying out of their

functions) there shall be substituted—

                       “(3)                The Corporation may do anything which appears to them to be

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incidental or conducive to the carrying out of their functions.

                       (4)                The powers of the Corporation under sub-paragraph (3) include

power, to the extent that it appears to them incidental or conducive

to the carrying out of their functions to do so—

                    (a)                   to borrow money;

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                    (b)                                                               to carry on activities (other than those comprised in their

duty to carry out their primary functions) through Channel 4

companies; and

                    (c)                   to participate with others in the carrying on of any such

activities.”

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     (5)    Schedule 9 (which makes provision for the approval by OFCOM, and for the

enforcement, of arrangements made by C4C about the carrying on of their

activities) shall have effect.

 198   Removal of members of C4C

     (1)    In paragraph 3 of Schedule 3 to the 1990 Act (term of office of members of C4C),

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after sub-paragraph (2) there shall be inserted—

                       “(2A)                OFCOM may at any time, by notice to a member of the Corporation,

terminate the appointment of that member.

                       (2B)                Before terminating a person’s appointment under sub-paragraph

(2A), OFCOM must consult the Secretary of State.”

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     (2)    This section applies only to a member whose appointment was made, or last

renewed, after the coming into force of this section.

 

 

Communications Bill
Part 3 — Television and Radio Services
Chapter 1 — The BBC, C4C the Welsh Authority and the Gaelic media service

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 199   Deficits and surpluses of C4C

     (1)    Sections 26 and 27 of the 1990 Act (revenue deficits of C4C to be funded by

providers of Channel 3 services and application of excess revenues of C4C)

shall cease to have effect.

     (2)    This section has effect in relation to a deficit or excess for a year ending after

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the commencement of this section.

 200   Borrowing limit for C4C

     (1)    The Secretary of State may by order provide for a limit on the borrowing that

C4C is allowed to undertake.

     (2)    The order may fix the limit either—

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           (a)           by specifying the sum which the outstanding borrowing of C4C must

not at any time exceed; or

           (b)           by providing a method of determining the sum which that borrowing

must not exceed.

     (3)    C4C are not to borrow money if the effect of the borrowing would be to cause

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the amount of their outstanding borrowing to be, or to remain, in excess of the

limit (if any) that is for the time being in force.

     (4)    For the purposes of this section the amount of C4C’s outstanding borrowing at

any time is the aggregate amount outstanding at that time in respect of the

principal of sums borrowed by them, but after allowing sums borrowed to

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repay existing loans to be applied for that purpose.

     (5)    Before making an order under this section, the Secretary of State must consult

C4C.

     (6)    The consent of the Treasury is required for the making of an order under this

section.

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The Welsh Authority

 201   Function of OFCOM in relation to the Welsh Authority

It shall be a function of OFCOM, to the extent that provision for them to do so

is contained in this Act and Part 5 of the 1996 Act, to regulate the services

provided by the Welsh Authority.

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 202   Welsh Authority’s function of providing S4C and S4C Digital

     (1)    The Welsh Authority shall continue in existence with the substitution of the

following function for their functions under section 57 of the 1990 Act.

     (2)    The Welsh Authority shall have the function of providing television

programme services of high quality with a view to their being available for

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reception wholly or mainly by members of the public in Wales.

     (3)    The carrying out of that function—

           (a)           must include the continuing provision of the television broadcasting

service known as Sianel Pedwar Cymru (“S4C”); and

 

 

Communications Bill
Part 3 — Television and Radio Services
Chapter 1 — The BBC, C4C the Welsh Authority and the Gaelic media service

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           (b)           may include the continuing provision of the service provided in digital

form and known as S4C Digital.

     (4)    The power of the Welsh Authority to provide S4C Digital includes a power to

secure that arrangements are made and remain in force for it to be broadcast in

digital form.

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     (5)    It shall be the duty of the Welsh Authority to secure that S4C and S4C Digital

each represents a public service for the dissemination of information,

education and entertainment.

     (6)    The Welsh Authority may use part of the signals carrying S4C to provide—

           (a)           subtitling in relation to programmes included in the service; and

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           (b)           other services which are ancillary to programmes included in S4C and

which are directly related to their contents.

     (7)    In providing S4C Digital the Welsh Authority may also provide—

           (a)           assistance for disabled people in relation to programmes included in

the service; and

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           (b)           any other service (other than one mentioned in paragraph (a)) which is

an ancillary service in relation to S4C Digital.

     (8)    The Secretary of State may by order modify this Act and such other enactments

as he thinks fit for the purpose of—

           (a)           replacing the requirement of the Welsh Authority to provide S4C with

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a requirement to provide a service in digital form;

           (b)           requiring the Welsh Authority to secure that arrangements are made

for that service and S4C Digital to be merged and provided as one

service (also to be known as “S4C Digital”); and

           (c)           applying enactments relating to the provision of S4C or S4C Digital to

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the provision of the merged service.

     (9)    An order under subsection (8) may require the Welsh Authority to ensure that,

from the coming into force of a requirement to provide a merged service in

digital form until a time determined in the manner described in the order, the

whole or a part of the merged service is also to be provided for broadcasting in

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analogue form.

     (10)   In this section “programme” does not include an advertisement.

 203   Powers to provide other services

     (1)    The Welsh Authority are not, in the carrying out of their function under section

202, to provide any television programme service (apart from S4C and S4C

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Digital) unless—

           (a)           the service appears to them to satisfy the requirements of subsection

(3); and

           (b)           the provision by them of the service has been approved by an order

made by the Secretary of State.

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     (2)    The functions of the Welsh Authority include the provision of services that are

neither television programme services nor sound services but—

           (a)           are provided with a view to being made available for reception wholly

or mainly by members of the public in Wales or otherwise to be

received or used by persons in Wales;

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Communications Bill
Part 3 — Television and Radio Services
Chapter 1 — The BBC, C4C the Welsh Authority and the Gaelic media service

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           (b)           are services appearing to them to satisfy the requirements of subsection

(3); and

           (c)           are services the provision of which by the Authority has been approved

by an order made by the Secretary of State.

     (3)    A service provided under this section must be a public service of high quality

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for the dissemination of information, education or entertainment (or a

combination of them) wholly or mainly to members of the public in Wales.

     (4)    The Welsh Authority are not to provide a television programme service under

this section unless it is one the provision of which by them broadens the range

of television programme services available for reception by members of the

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public in Wales.

     (5)    The Welsh Authority must ensure, in the case of every television programme

service provided with the approval of the Secretary of State under this section,

that a substantial proportion of the programmes included in the service

consists of programmes in Welsh.

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     (6)    An order under this section approving the provision of a service must set out—

           (a)           the nature and other characteristics of the service that is approved; and

           (b)           in the case of a service that is a television programme service, a public

service remit for that service.

     (7)    In providing a service approved under this section the Welsh Authority may

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also provide—

           (a)           assistance for disabled people in relation to programmes included in

the service;

           (b)           other services which are ancillary to programmes included in the

service and which are directly related to their contents; and

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           (c)           any other service (other than one mentioned in paragraph (a) or (b))

which is an ancillary service in relation to so much of the service as is

provided in digital form.

     (8)    A television programme service provided under this section in digital form is

a qualifying service for the purposes of the 1996 Act.

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     (9)    In this section “sound service” means a service which would fall to be

regulated under section 243 if provided by an S4C company.

 204   Other activities of Welsh Authority

     (1)    The activities that the Welsh Authority are able to carry on include activities

which appear to them—

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           (a)           to be activities that it is appropriate for them to carry on in association

with the carrying out of their function of providing S4C, S4C Digital or

a service the provision of which is approved under section 203; and

           (b)           to be connected, otherwise than merely in financial terms, with

activities undertaken by them for the carrying out of that function.

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     (2)    The approval of the Secretary of State is required for the carrying on by the

Welsh Authority of activities authorised only by subsection (1).

     (3)    The approval of the Secretary of State—

           (a)           must be contained in an order made by him; and

 

 

Communications Bill
Part 3 — Television and Radio Services
Chapter 1 — The BBC, C4C the Welsh Authority and the Gaelic media service

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           (b)           may be a general approval in relation to a description of activities or a

specific approval in relation to particular activities.

     (4)    The activities capable of being authorised under subsection (1)—

           (a)           do not include the provision of a licensable service; but

           (b)           do include activities for securing the provision of such a service by an

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S4C company and other activities connected with the provision of such

a service by such a company.

     (5)    The activities referred to in subsection (4)(b) include—

           (a)           the formation of a company to provide a programme service;

           (b)           the taking of steps by means of which a company that is providing such

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a service becomes an S4C company.

     (6)    For sub-paragraphs (2) and (3) of paragraph 1 of Schedule 6 to the 1990 Act

(power of Welsh Authority to do things incidental or conducive to the carrying

out of their functions) there shall be substituted—

                       “(2)                The Authority may do anything which appears to them to be

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incidental or conducive to the carrying out of their functions.

                       (3)                The powers of the Authority under sub-paragraph (2) include

power, to the extent that it appears to them incidental or conducive

to the carrying out of their functions to do so—

                    (a)                                                               to carry on activities (other than those comprised in their

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duty to carry out their functions under section 202 of the

Communications Act 2003) through S4C companies; and

                    (b)                   to participate with others in the carrying on of any such

activities.”

     (7)    In this section “licensable service” means a service that would fall to be

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regulated under section 209 or 243 if provided by an S4C company.

     (8)    Section 57(1A)(b) and (1B) of the 1990 Act (power of Welsh Authority to

establish, acquire an interest in or assist a qualifying company) shall cease to

have effect.

 205   Welsh Authority finances

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     (1)    The Welsh Authority must not, whether directly or indirectly, impose charges

on persons—

           (a)           in respect of their reception or use in Wales of any of the Authority’s

public services;

           (b)           in respect of their reception in Wales of any service consisting in the

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provision of assistance for disabled people in relation to programmes

included in any one or more of those services; or

           (c)           in respect of their reception in Wales of any service (other than one

mentioned in paragraph (b)) which is an ancillary service in relation to

any of the Authority’s public services provided in digital form.

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     (2)    It shall be unlawful to impose a charge in contravention of subsection (1).

     (3)    The power of the Welsh Authority to do anything that appears to them to be

conducive or incidental to the carrying out of their functions includes power,

subject to subsection (4), to borrow money.

 

 

Communications Bill
Part 3 — Television and Radio Services
Chapter 1 — The BBC, C4C the Welsh Authority and the Gaelic media service

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     (4)    The Welsh Authority are not to borrow money except with the approval of the

Secretary of State.

     (5)    The consent of the Treasury is to be required for the giving of an approval for

the purposes of subsection (4).

     (6)    The Welsh Authority are to be liable to pay OFCOM such sums in respect of

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the carrying out by OFCOM of their functions in relation to the Authority as

may be—

           (a)           agreed from time to time between the Authority and OFCOM; or

           (b)           (in default of agreement) fixed by the Secretary of State.

     (7)    In section 61(4) of the 1990 Act (power of Secretary of State to increase amount

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of grant to the Welsh Authority), for “transmitting S4C and the service referred

to in section 57(1A)(a), by order” there shall be substituted—

                  “(a)                    providing services that are public services of the Authority

(within the meaning of section 205 of the Communications Act

2003), and

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                  (b)                    arranging for the broadcasting or distribution of those services,

                         by order”.

     (8)    In section 61A of the 1990 Act (the public service fund)—

           (a)           in subsection (2) (application of fund), for “their functions under

section 57(1) or (1A)(a)” there shall be substituted “their functions in

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relation to the provision of the services that are public services of the

Authority (within the meaning of section 205 of the Communications

Act 2003).”; and

           (b)           in subsection (4) (programmes to be broadcast first on S4C or S4C

Digital), for the words from “on S4C” onwards there shall be

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substituted “on a television programme service that is one of their

public services (within the meaning of section 205 of the

Communications Act 2003)”.

     (9)    In this section references to the Welsh Authority’s public services are

references to the following—

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           (a)           S4C;

           (b)           S4C Digital; and

           (c)           the services the provision of which by the Authority is authorised by or

under section 203.

The Gaelic Media Service

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 206   The Gaelic Media Service

     (1)    The body established for the purposes of section 183 of the 1990 Act (financing

of programmes in Gaelic out of the Gaelic Television Fund) is hereby renamed

Seirbheis nam Meadhanan Gàidhlig (the Gaelic Media Service).

     (2)    References in any instrument or other document to Comataidh Craolaidh

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Gaidhlig or to the Gaelic Broadcasting Committee are to be construed

accordingly.

 

 

 
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