Part 3Television and Radio Services

Chapter 2Regulatory Structure for Independent Television Services

Television licensable content services

237Penalties for contravention of licence condition or direction

(1)If OFCOM are satisfied that the holder of a licence to provide a television licensable content service—

(a)has contravened a condition of the licence, or

(b)has failed to comply with a direction given by OFCOM under or by virtue of a provision of this Part, Part 1 of the 1990 Act or Part 5 of the 1996 Act,

they may serve on him a notice requiring him to pay them, within a specified period, a specified penalty.

(2)The amount of the penalty under this section must not exceed the maximum penalty given by subsection (3).

(3)The maximum penalty is whichever is the greater of—

(a)£250,000; and

(b)5 per cent. of the qualifying revenue for the licence holder’s last complete accounting period falling within the period for which his licence has been in force (“the relevant period”).

(4)In relation to a person whose first complete accounting period falling within the relevant period has not ended when the penalty is imposed, subsection (3) is to be construed as referring to 5 per cent of the amount which OFCOM estimate will be the qualifying revenue for that accounting period.

(5)Section 19(2) to (6) of the 1990 Act and Part 1 of Schedule 7 to that Act (calculation of qualifying revenue), with any necessary modifications, are to apply for the purposes of subsection (3) as they apply for the purposes of Part 1 of that Act.

(6)OFCOM are not to serve a notice on a person under subsection (1) unless they have given him a reasonable opportunity of making representations to them about the matters appearing to them to provide grounds for the service of the notice.

(7)Where OFCOM—

(a)serve a notice on a BBC company under subsection (1), or

(b)receive representations from a BBC company by virtue of subsection (6),

they must send a copy of the notice or representations to the Secretary of State.

(8)An exercise by OFCOM of their powers under subsection (1) does not preclude any exercise by them of their powers under section 236 in respect of the same contravention.

(9)The Secretary of State may by order substitute a different sum for the sum for the time being specified in subsection (3)(a).

(10)No order is to be made containing provision authorised by subsection (9) unless a draft of the order has been laid before Parliament and approved by a resolution of each House.