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Communications Bill


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

    248

 

 273   Must-provide services for the purposes of s. 272

     (1)    For the purposes of section 272 the list of must-provide services is as follows—

           (a)           every service of television programmes provided by the BBC so far as

it is provided in digital form and is a service in relation to which

OFCOM have functions;

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           (b)           the Channel 3 services so far as provided in digital form;

           (c)           Channel 4 so far as provided in digital form;

           (d)           Channel 5 so far as provided in digital form;

           (e)           S4C Digital;

           (f)           the digital public teletext service.

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     (2)    The Secretary of State may by order modify the list of must-provide services in

subsection (1).

     (3)           In determining whether it is appropriate, by an order under subsection (2), to

add a service to the list of must-provide services or to remove a service from

that list, the Secretary of State must have regard, in particular, to—

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           (a)           the public benefit to be secured by the addition of the service to the list,

or by its retention in the list;

           (b)           the likely effect of the proposed modification as respects the costs to be

borne, under arrangements entered into or imposed under section 272,

by the persons who, after the coming into force of the modification,

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would have to be parties to those arrangements; and

           (c)           the extent to which that effect is proportionate to the benefit mentioned

in paragraph (a).

 274   Co-operation with the public teletext provider

     (1)    The regulatory regime for every Channel 3 service and for Channel 4 includes

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the conditions that OFCOM consider appropriate for securing that the

provider of the service or channel grants access to the facilities mentioned in

subsection (2)—

           (a)           to the public teletext provider; and

           (b)           to any person authorised by virtue of section 218 to provide the whole

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or a part of the public teletext service on his behalf.

     (2)    Those facilities are the facilities that are reasonably required by the public

teletext provider or the authorised person for the purposes of, or in connection

with, the provision of the public teletext service.

     (3)    A licence holder granting access to facilities in pursuance of a condition

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imposed under this section may require the public teletext provider or

authorised person to pay a reasonable charge in respect of the facilities.

     (4)    In the event of a dispute, the amount of the charge is to be determined by

OFCOM.

Programming quotas for public service television

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 275   Programming quotas for independent productions

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

conditions that OFCOM consider appropriate for securing that, in each year,

 

 

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

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not less than 25 per cent. of the total amount of time allocated to the

broadcasting of qualifying programmes included in the channel is allocated to

the broadcasting of a range and diversity of independent productions.

     (2)    In this section—

           (a)           a reference to qualifying programmes is a reference to programmes of

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such description as the Secretary of State may by order specify as

describing the programmes that are to be qualifying programmes for

the purposes of this section;

           (b)           a reference to independent productions is a reference to programmes of

such description as the Secretary of State may by order specify as

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describing the programmes that are to be independent productions for

the purposes of this section; and

           (c)           a reference to a range of independent productions is a reference to a

range of such productions in terms of cost of acquisition as well as in

terms of the types of programme involved.

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     (3)    The Secretary of State may by order amend subsection (1) by substituting a

different percentage for the percentage for the time being specified in that

subsection.

     (4)           The Secretary of State may also by order provide for the regulatory regime for

every licensed public service channel to include conditions falling within

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subsection (5), either instead of or as well as those falling within subsection (1).

     (5)           The conditions falling within this subsection are those that OFCOM consider

appropriate for securing that, in each year, not less than the percentage

specified in the order of the programming budget for that year for that channel

is applied in the acquisition of independent productions.

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     (6)    The power to make an order under subsection (4) includes power to provide

that conditions that have previously ceased under such an order to be included

in the regulatory regime for every licensed public service channel are again so

included, in addition to or instead of the conditions already so included (apart

from the exercise of that power) by virtue of this section.

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     (7)    The Secretary of State is not to make an order for the regulatory regime of every

licensed public service channel to include or exclude conditions falling within

subsection (1) or conditions falling within subsection (5) unless—

           (a)           OFCOM have made a recommendation to him for those conditions to

be included or excluded; and

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           (b)           the order gives effect to that recommendation.

     (8)           The regulatory regime for every licensed public service channel also includes

a condition requiring the provider of the channel to comply with directions

given to him by OFCOM for the purpose of—

           (a)           carrying forward to one or more subsequent years determined in

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accordance with the direction any shortfall for any year in his

compliance with the requirements of conditions imposed by virtue of

subsection (1) or (4); and

           (b)           thereby increasing the percentage applicable for the purposes of those

conditions to the subsequent year or years.

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     (9)    For the purposes of conditions imposed by virtue of this section—

           (a)           the amount of the programming budget for a licensed public service

channel for a year, and

 

 

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

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           (b)           the means of determining the amount of that budget that is applied for

any purpose,

            are to be computed in accordance with such provision as may be set out in an

order made by the Secretary of State, or as may be determined by OFCOM in

accordance with such an order.

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     (10)          The powers of the Secretary of State to make orders under this section do not

include—

           (a)           power to specify different percentages for the purposes of subsection

(1), or of a condition falling within subsection (5), for different regional

Channel 3 services or for different national Channel 3 services; or

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           (b)           power to make different provision for different licensed public service

channels as to whether conditions falling within subsection (1) or

conditions falling within subsection (5), or both, are included in the

regulatory regimes for those services.

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

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OFCOM, the BBC and the Welsh Authority.

     (12)   No order is to be made containing provision authorised by this section unless

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

resolution of each House.

     (13)   In this section—

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                    “acquisition”, in relation to a programme, includes commissioning and

the acquisition of a right to include it in a service or to have it broadcast;

                    “programme” does not include an advertisement; and

                    “programming budget” means the budget for the production and

acquisition of qualifying programmes.

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 276   Programming quotas for original productions

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

conditions that OFCOM consider appropriate for securing—

           (a)           that the time allocated, in each year, to the broadcasting of original

productions included in that channel is no less than what appears to

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them to be an appropriate proportion of the total amount of time

allocated to the broadcasting of all the programmes included in the

channel; and

           (b)           that the time allocated to the broadcasting of original productions is

split in what appears to them to be an appropriate manner between

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peak viewing times and other times.

     (2)    The proportion determined by OFCOM for the purposes of subsection (1)—

           (a)           must, in the case of each licensed public service channel, be such

proportion as OFCOM consider appropriate for ensuring that the

channel is consistently of a high quality; and

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           (b)           may, for the purposes of paragraph (b) of that subsection, be expressed

as the cumulative effect of two different minimum proportions, one

applying to peak viewing times and the other to other times.

     (3)    A condition contained in a licence by virtue of this section may provide—

           (a)           that specified descriptions of programmes are to be excluded in

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determining the programmes a proportion of which is to consist of

original productions;

 

 

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

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           (b)           that, in determining for the purposes of the condition whether a

programme is of a description of programmes excluded by virtue of

paragraph (a), regard is to be had to any guidance prepared and

published, and from to time revised, by OFCOM.

     (4)    Before imposing a condition under this section, OFCOM must consult the

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person on whom it is to be imposed.

     (5)    The requirement to consult is satisfied, in the case of the imposition of a

condition by way of a variation of a licence, by compliance with section 3(4)(b)

of the 1990 Act (obligation to give opportunity to make representations about

variation).

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     (6)    References in this section, in relation to a licensed public service channel, to

original productions are references to programmes of such description as the

Secretary of State may by order specify as describing the programmes that are

to be original productions for the purposes of this section.

     (7)    The power to specify descriptions of programmes by order under subsection

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(6) includes power to confer such discretions on OFCOM as the Secretary of

State thinks fit.

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

OFCOM, the BBC and the Welsh Authority.

     (9)    No order is to be made containing provision authorised by this section unless

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

resolution of each House.

     (10)   In this section—

                    “peak viewing time”, in relation to a licensed public service channel,

means a time that appears to OFCOM to be, or to be likely to be, a peak

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viewing time for that channel; and

                    “programme” does not include an advertisement.

     (11)   Before determining for the purposes of this section what constitutes a peak

viewing time for a channel, OFCOM must consult the provider of the channel.

News provision etc. on public service television

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 277   News and current affairs programmes

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

conditions that OFCOM consider appropriate for securing—

           (a)           that the programmes included in the channel include news

programmes and current affairs programmes;

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           (b)           that the news programmes and current affairs programmes included in

the service are of high quality and deal with both national and

international matters; and

           (c)           that the news programmes so included are broadcast for viewing at

intervals throughout the period for which the channel is provided.

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     (2)    That regime also includes the conditions that OFCOM consider appropriate for

securing that, in each year—

           (a)           the time allocated to the broadcasting of news programmes included in

the service, and

 

 

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

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           (b)           the time allocated to the broadcasting of current affairs programmes so

included,

            each constitutes no less than what appears to OFCOM to be an appropriate

proportion of the time allocated to the broadcasting of all the programmes

included in the channel.

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     (3)    It further includes the conditions that OFCOM consider appropriate for

securing that the time allocated—

           (a)           to the broadcasting of news programmes included in the service, and

           (b)           to the broadcasting of current affairs programmes so included,

            is, in each case, split in what appears to OFCOM to be an appropriate manner

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between peak viewing times and other times.

     (4)    The proportion determined by OFCOM for the purposes of subsection (2) may,

for the purposes of subsection (3), be expressed as the cumulative effect of two

different minimum proportions, one applying to peak viewing times and the

other to other times.

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     (5)    In this section “peak viewing time”, in relation to a licensed public service

channel, means a time determined by OFCOM to be, or to be likely to be, a peak

viewing time for that channel.

     (6)    Before determining for the purposes of this section—

           (a)           the proportion of time to be allocated to the broadcasting of news

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programmes or current affairs programmes; or

           (b)           what constitutes a peak viewing time for a channel,

            OFCOM must consult the provider of the channel or (as the case may be) the

person who is proposing to provide it.

     (7)    The requirement to consult is satisfied, in the case of the imposition of a

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condition by way of a variation of a licence, by compliance with section 3(4)(b)

of the 1990 Act (obligation to give opportunity to make representations about

variation).

 278   Appointed news providers for Channel 3

     (1)    The regulatory regime for every regional Channel 3 service includes the

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conditions that OFCOM consider appropriate for securing the nationwide

broadcasting, on the regional Channel 3 services (taken together), of news

programmes that are able to compete effectively with other television news

programmes broadcast nationwide in the United Kingdom.

     (2)    The conditions imposed under this section must include a condition requiring

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the holder of a regional Channel 3 licence to do all that he can to ensure—

           (a)           that arrangements for the appointment of a single body corporate as the

appointed news provider are maintained between all the holders of

regional Channel 3 licences; and

           (b)           that, at all times while he is providing a regional Channel 3 service,

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there is in force an appointment made in accordance with those

arrangements.

     (3)    The arrangements that are required to be maintained by virtue of conditions

imposed under subsection (2) must provide—

           (a)           for an appointment of a person as the appointed news provider to be

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made only from among bodies corporate nominated by OFCOM in

accordance with section 32 of the 1990 Act;

 

 

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

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           (b)           for such an appointment to cease to have effect if the nomination under

section 32 of the 1990 Act of the appointed person is terminated;

           (c)           for the terms on which such an appointment is made to include the

terms appearing to OFCOM to be appropriate for securing that the

finances of the person appointed are adequate, throughout the period

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of his appointment, to ensure that the Channel 3 news obligations are

capable of being met; and

           (d)           for the approval of OFCOM to be required for the purposes of

paragraph (c) to the terms on which such an appointment is made.

     (4)    The conditions imposed under this section must include a condition requiring

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the news programmes included in a regional Channel 3 service—

           (a)           to be programmes provided by the person who is for the time being the

appointed news provider for the purposes of this section; and

           (b)           to be so included in that service as to be broadcast simultaneously with

the broadcasting of news programmes included, in accordance with

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conditions imposed under this subsection, in other regional Channel 3

services.

     (5)    Those conditions must also require the news programmes provided by the

appointed news provider which, in accordance with a condition imposed

under subsection (4), are included in a regional Channel 3 service to be

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programmes that are presented live.

     (6)    OFCOM—

           (a)           may issue guidance as to the terms that will satisfy requirements

imposed by virtue of subsection (3)(c); and

           (b)           must have regard to guidance for the time being in force under this

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subsection when considering whether to give an approval for the

purposes of provision made by virtue of subsection (3)(d).

     (7)    For the purposes of this section the Channel 3 news obligations are—

           (a)           the requirements of any conditions imposed in relation to regional

Channel 3 services under section 277; and

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           (b)           the nationwide broadcasting on the regional Channel 3 services (taken

together) of news programmes that are able to compete effectively with

other television news programmes broadcast nationwide in the United

Kingdom.

     (8)    Conditions imposed under this section are not to require arrangements to

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make provision falling within subsection (3)(c) or (d) in relation to

appointments made before the commencement of this section.

 279   Power to repeal Channel 3 news provider provisions

     (1)    If it appears to the Secretary of State appropriate to do so, he may by order

repeal section 278 of this Act and section 32 of the 1990 Act.

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     (2)    Except in a case to which subsection (3) applies, the Secretary of State must

consult OFCOM before making an order under this section.

     (3)    Consultation with OFCOM is not required if the order is confined to giving

effect to recommendations by OFCOM that are contained in a report of a

review under section 388.

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

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     (4)    No order is to be made containing provision authorised by this section unless

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

resolution of each House.

 280   News providers for Channel 5

     (1)    If it appears to the Secretary of State appropriate to do so, he may by order

5

make provision requiring news programmes included in Channel 5 to be

provided by a person appointed as a news provider in accordance with the

order.

     (2)    An order under this section may make provision in relation to Channel 5 that

corresponds, with such modifications as the Secretary of State thinks fit, to any

10

provision made in relation to regional Channel 3 services by section 278 of this

Act or section 32 of the 1990 Act.

     (3)    Subsection (2) applies irrespective of any repeal or other modification by an

order under this Act of section 278 of this Act or section 32 of the 1990 Act.

     (4)    An order under this section may include provision for section 194A of the 1990

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Act (application of Competition Act 1998 to Channel 3 news provision) to have

effect (with such modifications as may be specified in the order) in relation to

the appointment of a person as a news provider for Channel 5 as it has effect in

relation to the appointment of a person as a news provider for Channel 3.

     (5)    The Secretary of State is not to make an order under this section for the

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imposition of obligations in relation to Channel 5 unless he is satisfied that

Channel 5’s share of the audience for television broadcasting services is

broadly equivalent to that of the services comprising Channel 3.

     (6)    An order under this section must require a licence holder to have a reasonable

opportunity of making representations to OFCOM before his licence is varied

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in pursuance of the order.

     (7)    Except in a case to which subsection (8) applies, the Secretary of State must

consult OFCOM before making an order under this section.

     (8)    Consultation with OFCOM is not required if the order is confined to giving

effect to recommendations by OFCOM that are contained in a report of a

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review under section 388.

     (9)    No order is to be made containing provision authorised by this section unless

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

resolution of each House.

 281   News provision on the public teletext service

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

that OFCOM consider appropriate for securing—

           (a)           that the service includes what appears to OFCOM to be a suitable

quantity and variety of news items; and

           (b)           that the news items included in the service are up to date and regularly

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revised.

     (2)    Conditions imposed under this section in relation to a time when the public

teletext service comprises both—

           (a)           an analogue teletext service, and

 

 

 
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