Communications Act 2003
2003 CHAPTER 21
Commentary on Sections
Part 3: Television and Radio Services
Chapter 1: The BBC, C4C, the Welsh Authority and the Gaelic Media Service
Section 205: Powers to provide other services
441.This section confers on the Welsh Authority the power to provide certain services in addition to S4C and S4C Digital. Subsection (1) prohibits the Welsh Authority from providing any television programme service (other than S4C and S4C Digital) unless its provision is approved by an order made by the Secretary of State and it is a public service of high quality used for the dissemination of information, education or entertainment wholly or mainly to the Welsh public. Any television programme services provided under this section must broaden the existing range of public television programme services in Wales.
*The meaning of a television programme service is given in section 362(1).
442.Subsection (2) allows the Welsh Authority to provide services other than television programme services or sound services, provided they are public services of high quality used for the dissemination of information, education or entertainment which will be made available wholly or mainly to the Welsh public, or for use in Wales, and have been approved by the Secretary of State. Examples of the types of service that the Welsh Authority may provide under this subsection include (but are not limited to) an interactive service delivered via the Internet. Paragraph 27(1) of Schedule 18 stipulates that the Welsh Authority are not required to obtain the Secretary of State’s approval for the continued provision of any service that they are providing before section 205 comes into effect.
443.In the course of providing a service approved by the Secretary of State under section 205, the Welsh Authority may under subsection (7) also provide: assistance for disabled people in relation to programmes included in the service, services ancillary to programmes included in the service and related to their content, and other types of ancillary services offered in a digital format.
444.Any programme service approved by the Secretary of State under this section must contain a substantial proportion of programmes in the Welsh language.
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