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Scotland Act 1998

Details of Provisions

The subject-matter of the Broadcasting Acts 1990 and 1996 and the BBC, are reserved matters.

The regulatory framework for broadcasting is an important aspect of the single market in the UK.  The management of the airwaves and of competition in the independent television sector will therefore continue to be carried out on a UK-wide basis.

The Broadcasting Acts 1990 and 1996 broadly cover:


the Independent Television Commission and the Radio Authority, the regulation of the provision of television and sound programme services and related services, including provision by means of broadcasting, telecommunications systems, satellite or any other means, the issue of licences to independent television companies and control of the activities of licence holders;


the control of material in television and sound programmes and related services; and


the regulation of standards in the provision of such services including the functions of the Broadcasting Standards Commission.

The BBC operates under its Royal Charter, and is also subject to some of the provisions of the Broadcasting Acts.

The reservation does not prevent the Scottish Parliament from discussing broadcasting in Scotland.  It is able (without any special provision in the Act) to invite the BBC, the ITC and other broadcasting bodies to attend hearings of its committees and to discuss broadcasting priorities but it cannot require them to attend or give evidence.

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