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 4 — Regulatory provisions

    269

 

            as consists of programmes that are not excluded programmes must be

accompanied by subtitling.

     (5)    The obligations to be fulfilled from the tenth anniversary of the relevant date

are—

           (a)           that at least 90 per cent. of so much of a Channel 3 service or of Channel

5

4 as consists of programmes that are not excluded programmes must be

accompanied by subtitling;

           (b)           that at least 80 per cent. of so much of every other service to which this

section applies as consists of programmes that are not excluded

programmes must be accompanied by subtitling;

10

           (c)           that at least 10 per cent. of so much of every service to which this section

applies as consists of programmes that are not excluded programmes

must be accompanied by audio-description for the blind; and

           (d)           that at least 5 per cent. of so much of every service to which this section

applies as consists of programmes that are not excluded programmes

15

must be presented in, or translated into, sign language.

     (6)    A reference in subsection (4) or in any paragraph of subsection (5) to excluded

programmes is a reference to programmes of the description for the time being

set out under subsection (7) in relation to that subsection or paragraph and also

in relation to the service in question.

20

     (7)    The code must set out, in relation to subsection (4) and each of the paragraphs

of subsection (5), the descriptions of programmes that OFCOM consider

should be excluded programmes for the purposes of the requirement

contained in that subsection or paragraph.

     (8)    In complying with subsection (7), OFCOM must have regard, in particular,

25

to—

           (a)           the extent of the benefit which would be conferred by the provision of

assistance for disabled people in relation to the programmes;

           (b)           the size of the intended audience for the programmes;

           (c)           the number of persons who would be likely to benefit from the

30

assistance and the extent of the likely benefit in each case;

           (d)           the extent to which members of the intended audience for the

programmes are resident in places outside the United Kingdom;

           (e)           the technical difficulty of providing the assistance; and

           (f)           the cost, in the context of the matters mentioned in paragraphs (a) to (e),

35

of providing the assistance.

     (9)    The exclusions that may be set out in the code under subsection (7)—

           (a)           may include different descriptions of programmes in relation to

different services to which this section applies; and

           (b)           in the case of a service which OFCOM are satisfied (having regard to

40

the matters mentioned in subsection (8)) is a special case, may include

all the programmes included in the service.

     (10)   The requirements that may be imposed by the code include, in particular—

           (a)           requirements on persons providing services to which this section

applies to meet interim targets falling within subsection (11), from

45

dates falling before an anniversary mentioned in subsection (3);

           (b)           requirements on persons providing such services to meet further

targets from dates falling after the anniversary mentioned in subsection

(5); and

 

 

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

    270

 

           (c)           requirements with respect to the provision of assistance for disabled

people in relation to excluded programmes, or in relation to a particular

description of them.

     (11)   The interim targets mentioned in subsection (10)(a) are the targets with respect

to the provision of assistance for disabled people which OFCOM consider it

5

appropriate to impose as targets on the way to meeting the targets imposed in

pursuance of subsection (3).

     (12)   This section applies to the following services—

           (a)           S4C Digital or any other television programme service provided by the

Welsh Authority for broadcasting in digital form so as to be available

10

for reception by members of the public;

           (b)           any licensed public service channel;

           (c)           a digital television programme service but not an electronic

programme guide;

           (d)           a television licensable content service but not an electronic programme

15

guide;

           (e)           a restricted television service.

     (13)   In this section—

                    “electronic programme guide” means a service which—

                  (a)                 is or is included in a television licensable content service or a

20

digital television programme service; and

                  (b)                 consists of—

                      (i)                     the listing or promotion, or both the listing and the

promotion, of some or all of the programmes included in

any one or more programme services the providers of

25

which are or include persons other than the provider of the

guide; and

                      (ii)                    a facility for obtaining access, in whole or in part, to the

programme service or services listed or promoted in the

guide;

30

                    “programme” does not include an advertisement.

 301   Procedure for issuing and revising code under s. 300

     (1)    Before drawing up a code under section 300 or reviewing or revising it in

pursuance of that section, OFCOM must consult—

           (a)           such persons appearing to them to represent the interests of persons

35

falling within subsection (1)(a)(i) or (ii) of that section as OFCOM think

fit; and

           (b)           such persons providing services to which that section applies as

OFCOM think fit.

     (2)    OFCOM must publish the code drawn up under section 300, and every

40

revision of it, in such manner as, having regard to the need to make the code or

revision accessible to—

           (a)           persons who are deaf or hard of hearing, and

           (b)           persons who are blind or partially sighted,

            they consider appropriate.

45

 

 

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

    271

 

 302   Meaning of “relevant date” in s. 300

     (1)    In relation to a service, the relevant date for the purposes of section 300 is—

           (a)           in a case to which any of subsections (2) to (4) applies, the date given by

that subsection; and

           (b)           in any other case, the date (whether before or after the passing of this

5

Act) when the provision of that service began or begins.

     (2)    In the case of a service the provision of which began before the television

transfer date but which is not—

           (a)           a service provided by the Welsh Authority,

           (b)           a licensed public service channel, or

10

           (c)           a digital television programme service,

            the relevant date is the date of the coming into force of this section.

     (3)    In the case of—

           (a)           a Channel 3 service the provision of which began before the date of the

passing of this Act, and

15

           (b)           Channel 4 and S4C Digital,

            the relevant date is 1st January 2000.

     (4)    In the case of Channel 5, so far as it consists of a service the provision of which

began before the date of the passing of this Act, the relevant date is 1st January

1998.

20

     (5)    OFCOM may determine that a service provided by a person is to be treated for

the purposes of section 300 and this section as a continuation of a service

previously provided by him.

 303   Power to modify targets in s. 300

     (1)           Where it appears to the Secretary of State, in the case of services of a particular

25

description, that the obligation specified in section 300(4) has been or is likely

to be fulfilled in their case before the anniversary so specified, he may by order

modify section 300 so as to do one or both of the following—

           (a)           increase the percentage so specified in relation to services of that

description;

30

           (b)           substitute a different anniversary for the anniversary by which that

obligation must be fulfilled in the case of such services.

     (2)    The Secretary of State may by order modify section 300 so as to do one or both

of the following—

           (a)           substitute a later anniversary for the anniversary by which the

35

obligations specified in subsection (5) of that section must be fulfilled;

           (b)           substitute a higher percentage for the percentage for the time being

specified in any paragraph of that subsection.

     (3)    The provision that may be made by an order under this section includes—

           (a)           modifications for requiring the code to set out additional obligations to

40

be fulfilled once the obligations previously required to be set out in the

code have been fulfilled; and

           (b)           savings for the obligations previously set out in the code.

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

OFCOM.

45

 

 

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

    272

 

     (5)    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.

 304   Observance of code under s. 300

     (1)    The regulatory regime for every service to which this section applies includes

5

the conditions that OFCOM consider appropriate for securing that the code

maintained by them under section 300 is observed in the provision of those

services.

     (2)    This section applies to every service to which section 300 applies which is

licensed by a Broadcasting Act licence.

10

Programming quotas for digital television programme services

 305   Quotas for independent programmes

     (1)    The regulatory regime for every digital television programme service that is

not comprised in a licensed public service channel includes the conditions that

OFCOM consider appropriate for securing that, in each year, not less than 10

15

per cent. of the total amount of time allocated to the broadcasting of qualifying

programmes included in the service is allocated to the broadcasting of a range

and diversity of independent productions.

     (2)    In subsection (1)—

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

20

of 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 that subsection;

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

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

25

describing the programmes that are to be independent productions for

the purposes of that subsection; and

           (c)           the 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.

30

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

OFCOM.

35

     (5)    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.

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

 

 

 
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 3 July 2003