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Communications Act 2003

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This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

Independent and regional productions and programmes for public service television

285Code relating to programme commissioning

(1)The regulatory regime for every licensed public service channel includes the conditions that OFCOM consider appropriate for securing that the provider of the channel draws up and from time to time revises a code of practice setting out the principles he will apply when agreeing terms for the commissioning of independent productions.

(2)That regime also includes the conditions that OFCOM consider appropriate for securing that the provider of every licensed public service channel—

(a)at all times complies with a code of practice which has been drawn up by him by virtue of this section and is for the time being in force; and

(b)exercises his power to revise his code to take account of revisions from time to time of the guidance issued by OFCOM for the purposes of this section.

(3)The conditions imposed under this section must ensure that the code for the time being in force in the case of every licensed public service channel secures, in the manner described in guidance issued by OFCOM—

(a)that a reasonable timetable is applied to negotiations for the commissioning of an independent production and for the conclusion of a binding agreement;

(b)that there is what appears to OFCOM to be sufficient clarity, when an independent production is commissioned, about the different categories of rights to broadcast or otherwise to make use of or exploit the commissioned production that are being disposed of;

(c)that there is what appears to OFCOM to be sufficient transparency about the amounts to be paid in respect of each category of rights;

(d)that what appear to OFCOM to be satisfactory arrangements are made about the duration and exclusivity of those rights;

(e)that procedures exist for reviewing the arrangements adopted in accordance with the code and for demonstrating compliance with it;

(f)that those procedures include requirements for the monitoring of the application of the code and for the making of reports to OFCOM;

(g)that provision is made for resolving disputes arising in respect of the provisions of the code (by independent arbitration or otherwise) in a manner that appears to OFCOM to be appropriate.

(4)The conditions imposed under this section must also ensure that the drawing up or revision of a code by virtue of this section is in accordance with guidance issued by OFCOM as to—

(a)the times when the code is to be drawn up or reviewed with a view to revision;

(b)the consultation to be undertaken before a code is drawn up or revised; and

(c)the publication of every code or revised code.

(5)The provision that may be included in a condition imposed under this section includes—

(a)provision requiring a draft of a code or of any revision of a code to be submitted to OFCOM for approval;

(b)provision for the code or revision to have effect only if approved by OFCOM; and

(c)provision for a code or revision that is approved by OFCOM subject to modifications to have effect with those modifications.

(6)OFCOM—

(a)must issue and may from time to time revise guidance for the purposes of this section;

(b)must ensure that there is always guidance for those purposes in force;

(c)must, before issuing their guidance or revised guidance, consult the providers of licensed public service channels, persons who make independent productions (or persons appearing to OFCOM to represent them), the BBC and the Welsh Authority; and

(d)must publish their guidance or revised guidance in such manner as they think appropriate.

(7)Guidance issued by OFCOM for the purposes of this section must be general guidance and is not to specify particular terms to be included in agreements to which the guidance relates.

(8)Conditions imposed under this section requiring a code to be drawn up or approved may include transitional provision for treating a code drawn up before the imposition of the condition —

(a)as satisfying the requirements of that condition; and

(b)as a code approved by OFCOM for the purposes of conditions so imposed.

(9)In this section “independent production” has the same meaning as in section 277.

286Regional programme-making for Channels 3 and 5

(1)The regulatory regime for every Channel 3 service includes the conditions (if any) that OFCOM consider appropriate in the case of that service for securing—

(a)that what appears to OFCOM to be a suitable proportion of Channel 3 programmes made in the United Kingdom are programmes made in the United Kingdom outside the M25 area;

(b)that the Channel 3 programmes that are made in the United Kingdom outside the M25 area (taken together) constitute what appears to OFCOM to be a suitable range of programmes;

(c)that what appears to OFCOM to be a suitable proportion of the expenditure of the providers of Channel 3 services on Channel 3 programmes made in the United Kingdom is referable to programme production at different production centres outside the M25 area; and

(d)that the different programme production centres to which that expenditure is referable constitute what appears to OFCOM to be a suitable range of such production centres.

(2)In the case of a national Channel 3 service, subsection (1) requires the inclusion of conditions in the licence for the service only where OFCOM consider, having regard to the nature of the service, that it would be appropriate for conditions falling within that subsection to be so included.

(3)The regulatory regime for Channel 5 includes the conditions that OFCOM consider appropriate for securing—

(a)that what appears to OFCOM to be a suitable proportion of the programmes made in the United Kingdom for viewing on that Channel are programmes made in the United Kingdom outside the M25 area;

(b)that the programmes for such viewing that are made in the United Kingdom outside the M25 area (taken together) constitute what appears to OFCOM to be a suitable range of programmes;

(c)that what appears to OFCOM to be a suitable proportion of the expenditure of the provider of Channel 5 on programmes made in the United Kingdom for viewing on that Channel is referable to programme production at different production centres outside the M25 area; and

(d)that the different programme production centres to which that expenditure is referable constitute what appears to OFCOM to be a suitable range of such production centres.

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

(6)A proportion is not to be regarded by OFCOM as suitable for the purposes of a provision of this section if it constitutes less than a significant proportion of the programmes or expenditure in question.

(7)In this section—

  • “Channel 3 programmes” means programmes made for viewing on Channel 3 in more than one area for which regional Channel 3 services are provided, including any programme made for viewing on a national Channel 3 service other than a regional programme;

  • “expenditure”, in relation to a programme, means—

    (a)

    expenditure which constitutes an investment in or is otherwise attributable to the making of the programme; or

    (b)

    expenditure on the commissioning or other acquisition of the programme or on the acquisition of a right to include it in a service or to have it broadcast;

  • “programme” does not include an advertisement; and

  • “regional programme” means a programme made with a view to its inclusion in a national Channel 3 service as a programme of particular interest to persons living within a particular area of the United Kingdom.

287Regional programmes on Channel 3

(1)The regulatory regime for every regional Channel 3 service includes the conditions that OFCOM consider appropriate for securing—

(a)that what appears to OFCOM, in the case of that service, to be a sufficient amount of time is given in the programmes included in the service to what appears to them to be a suitable range of programmes (including regional news programmes) which are of particular interest to persons living within the area for which the service is provided;

(b)that the regional programmes included in the service are of high quality;

(c)that what appears to OFCOM, in the case of that service, to be a suitable proportion of the regional programmes included in the service consists of programmes made in that area;

(d)that the regional news programmes included in the service are broadcast for viewing at intervals throughout the period for which the service is provided and, in particular, at peak viewing times;

(e)that what appears to OFCOM, in the case of that service, to be a suitable proportion of the other regional programmes that are included in the service consists of programmes broadcast for viewing—

(i)at peak viewing times; and

(ii)at times immediately preceding or following those times.

(2)The regulatory regime for every local Channel 3 service includes the conditions that OFCOM consider appropriate for securing—

(a)that what appears to OFCOM, in the case of that service, to be a sufficient amount of time is given in the programmes included in the service to what appears to them to be a suitable range of local programmes;

(b)that, in the case of each part of an area or each community for which the service is provided, the range of local programmes is a range of programmes (including news programmes) which are of particular interest to persons living within that part of that area or to that community;

(c)that the local programmes included in the service are of high quality;

(d)that what appears to OFCOM, in the case of that service, to be a suitable proportion of the local programmes included in the service consists of programmes made in the area for which the service is provided;

(e)that the local news programmes included in the service are broadcast for viewing at intervals throughout the period for which the service is provided and, in particular, at peak viewing times;

(f)that what appears to OFCOM, in the case of that service, to be a suitable proportion of the other local programmes that are included in the service consists of programmes broadcast for viewing—

(i)at peak viewing times; and

(ii)at times immediately preceding or following those times.

(3)In the case of a local Channel 3 service, the conditions included in the regulatory regime for the service include conditions falling within subsection (1) to the extent only that it appears to OFCOM that the requirements of subsection (1) are not adequately met by conditions falling within subsection (2).

(4)In the case of a national Channel 3 service in the case of which OFCOM consider that it would be appropriate to impose conditions under this subsection, the regulatory regime for the service includes the conditions that OFCOM consider appropriate for securing—

(a)that what appears to OFCOM, in the case of that service, to be a sufficient amount of time is given in the programmes included in the service to what appears to them to be a suitable range of programmes (including regional news programmes) which are of particular interest to persons living within particular areas of the United Kingdom;

(b)that the regional programmes included in the service are of high quality;

(c)that what appears to OFCOM, in the case of that service, to be a suitable proportion of the regional programmes included in the service consists of programmes made in the area by reference to which they are regional programmes;

(d)that the regional news programmes included in the service are broadcast for viewing at intervals throughout the period for which the service is provided and, in particular, at peak viewing times;

(e)that what appears to OFCOM, in the case of that service, to be a suitable proportion of the other regional programmes that are included in the service consists of programmes broadcast for viewing—

(i)at peak viewing times; and

(ii)at times immediately preceding or following those times.

(5)Before imposing a condition under this section, OFCOM must consult the person on whom it is to be imposed.

(6)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).

(7)A proportion is not to be regarded by OFCOM as suitable for the purposes of a provision of this section if it constitutes less than a significant proportion of the programmes in question.

(8)In this section—

  • “local Channel 3 service” means a regional Channel 3 service the provision of which includes the provision (in pursuance of a determination under section 14(3) of the 1990 Act) of different programmes for different parts of an area or for different communities living within an area;

  • “local programme”, in relation to a service provided for different parts of an area or for different communities, means a programme included in that service for any of the parts of that area or for any of those communities, and “local news programme” is to be construed accordingly;

  • “peak viewing time”, in relation to a service, means a time determined by OFCOM to be, or to be likely to be, a peak viewing time for that service;

  • “programme” does not include an advertisement;

  • “regional programme”—

    (a)

    in relation to a regional Channel 3 service, means a programme included in that service with a view to its being of particular interest to persons living within the area for which the service is provided;

    (b)

    in relation to a national Channel 3 service, means a programme included in that service with a view to its being of particular interest to persons living within a particular area of the United Kingdom;

    and “regional news programme” is to be construed accordingly.

288Regional programme-making for Channel 4

(1)The regulatory regime for Channel 4 includes the conditions that OFCOM consider appropriate for securing—

(a)that what appears to OFCOM to be a suitable proportion of programmes made in the United Kingdom for viewing on Channel 4 are programmes made in the United Kingdom outside the M25 area;

(b)that the programmes for such viewing that are made in the United Kingdom outside the M25 area (taken together) constitute what appears to OFCOM to be a suitable range of programmes;

(c)that what appears to OFCOM to be a suitable proportion of the expenditure of C4C on programmes made in the United Kingdom for viewing on Channel 4 is referable to programme production at different production centres outside the M25 area; and

(d)that the different programme production centres to which that expenditure is referable constitute what appears to OFCOM to be a suitable range of such production centres.

(2)Before imposing a condition under this section, OFCOM must consult C4C.

(3)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).

(4)A proportion is not to be regarded by OFCOM as suitable for the purposes of a provision of this section if it constitutes less than a significant proportion of the programmes or expenditure in question.

(5)In this section—

  • “expenditure”, in relation to a programme, means—

    (a)

    expenditure which constitutes an investment in or is otherwise attributable to the making of the programme; or

    (b)

    expenditure on the commissioning or other acquisition of the programme or on the acquisition of a right to include it in a service or to have it broadcast; and

  • “programme” does not include an advertisement.

289Regional matters in the public teletext service

(1)The regulatory regime for the public teletext service includes the conditions that OFCOM consider appropriate for securing that the service includes what appears to them to be an appropriate proportion of material that is of particular interest to persons living in different parts of the United Kingdom.

(2)Conditions imposed under this section in relation to a time when the public teletext service comprises both—

(a)an analogue teletext service, and

(b)a teletext service provided in digital form,

must apply to both services but may make different provision for each of them.

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