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Communications Act 2003

Section 351: Changes of control of Channel 3 services

743.OFCOM are to include in the licence for every Channel 3 service conditions to ensure that any body corporate holding such a licence notifies OFCOM in advance of any proposals that may result in a change of control of the licensee, or of a person connected with the licensee who is, actually or potentially, involved to a substantial extent in providing programmes for inclusion in the licensed service.

744.Where such a change of control may result, or has resulted, over a body corporate holding a Channel 3 licence, OFCOM must review and publish a report on the effects or likely effects, and their proposed response. OFCOM must review the impact of the change of control on the quality and range of regional programmes and the effect on the regional character of the service (subsection (6)), as well as the amount of time given in the service to regional programmes, the proportion of regional programmes made in the relevant region and the extent to which persons are employed in and decisions are made in the relevant region in connection with the service (subsection (7)). They must also review the effect on the time allocated in the service to original productions and news and current affairs programmes (subsection (4)); and the extent to which Channel 3 programmes in the service are made in the UK outside the M25 area, the range of such programmes, the extent to which expenditure by the Channel 3 provider on Channel 3 programmes is referable to programme production at different production centres outside the M25, and the range of such production centres to which the expenditure is referable (subsection (5)).

745.In the case of a national Channel 3 service, OFCOM will only review the effect on programme production and production expenditure outside the M25 area where a national Channel 3 service is subject to relevant conditions under section 286 (programme production) or OFCOM otherwise consider it would be appropriate.

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