Ofcom to be given powers to regulate streaming platforms

Tradition Secretary Nadine Dorries has revealed new plans for Ofcom to manage streaming platforms to “protect audiences” from “harmful material”.

The Authorities will give the UK media watchdog the ability to draft and implement a brand new video-on-demand code, geared toward setting requirements for “larger TV-like services” equivalent to Netflix, ITV Hub and Now TV to stage the principles with conventional broadcasters.

The utmost nice for a breach of the code can be £250,000 or an quantity as much as 5 per cent of their income – whichever is larger.

Nadine Dorries
Tradition Secretary Nadine Dorries mentioned the plans will ‘revamp decades-old law’ (Steve Parsons/PA)

The Authorities mentioned the plans will embrace measures to guard audiences from a wider vary of dangerous materials, citing unchallenged well being claims and pseudoscience documentaries.

The white paper, launched on Thursday, alerts the framework for the privatisation of Channel 4.

Below non-public possession, Channel 4 can have entry to capital and the liberty to make its personal content material, permitting it to diversify its income stream, it mentioned.

It can look to make use of a number of the proceeds from the sale of Channel 4 to ship a brand new artistic dividend for the sector.

Channel 4
The white paper might herald the privatisation of Channel 4 (Philip Toscano/PA)

The Authorities cited period-drama Downton Abbey, sci-fi collection Physician Who and searing rape drama I Might Destroy You as examples that “reflect a vision of a modern UK”.

The white paper additionally proposes the chance to safe rights to air TV’s main sporting occasions, such because the Fifa World Cup and Wimbledon, be made an unique public service broadcasters (PSB) profit by way of reforms to the listed occasions regime.

Equally, the Authorities will replace prominence guidelines so on-line TV platforms are legally required to supply PSB on-demand providers, equivalent to BBC iPlayer and ITV Hub, and provides them prominence so they’re straightforward to search out on the platform.

It can additionally set out a brand new remit for PSB quota, which presently requires broadcasters to air a minimal quantity and number of public service content material.

Downton Abbey
Downton Abbey was cited for example of a ‘distinctively British’ present (Ben Blackall/PA)

“The UK’s TV and radio industries are world-renowned for his or her creativity, pushed by distinctive expertise that’s delivering ground-breaking public service programming.

“Set in opposition to the backdrop of the digital transformation of our viewing habits, immediately’s plans will revamp decades-old legal guidelines to assist our public service broadcasters compete within the web age and usher in a brand new golden age for British TV and radio.

“This will provide jobs and growth in the future along with the content we all love,” Ms Dorries mentioned.

In a press release, ITV mentioned: “We welcome the Authorities’s recognition of the large worth the PSBs ship to the UK and its resolution to introduce a Media Invoice to ship the mandatory reforms to make sure PSBs can proceed to thrive in future given market modifications.

Julian Knight
DCMS chairman Julian Knight referred to as for clarification on the function of radio (Chris McAndrew/PA)

In a press release, Netflix mentioned: “As we’ve beforehand mentioned, we’re supportive of measures to replace the authorized framework and convey our service within the UK below Ofcom’s jurisdiction.

“We look forward to reviewing the White Paper’s other proposals and continuing to engage with the Government on their plans.”

The Division for Digital, Tradition, Media and Sport chairman Julian Knight mentioned: “The foundations guaranteeing main sporting occasions are free to be loved by all have did not preserve tempo with speedy modifications in viewers viewing habits.

“With many extra folks now watching on-line or on catch-up moderately than crowding spherical a TV with family and friends, the Authorities should be sure that the promised assessment of the listed occasions regime extends safety of the sporting crown jewels to digital and on-demand content material.

“With the proposals announced today aimed at helping public service broadcasters thrive, it is puzzling why there is a deafening silence on the role of radio and how it will be supported. This will need to be rectified if, as promised, audiences are to enjoy a new golden age of programming.”

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