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Communications Act 2003

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This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

278Programming quotas for original productions
This section has no associated Explanatory Notes

(1)The regulatory regime for every licensed public service channel includes the conditions that OFCOM consider appropriate for securing—

(a)that the time allocated, in each year, to the broadcasting of original productions included in that channel is no less than what appears to them to be an appropriate proportion of the total amount of time allocated to the broadcasting of all the programmes included in the channel; and

(b)that the time allocated to the broadcasting of original productions is split in what appears to them to be an appropriate manner between peak viewing times and other times.

(2)The proportion determined by OFCOM for the purposes of subsection (1)—

(a)must, in the case of each licensed public service channel, be such proportion as OFCOM consider appropriate for ensuring that the channel is consistently of a high quality; and

(b)may, for the purposes of paragraph (b) of that subsection, be expressed as the cumulative effect of two different minimum proportions, one applying to peak viewing times and the other to other times.

(3)A condition contained in a licence by virtue of this section may provide—

(a)that specified descriptions of programmes are to be excluded in determining the programmes a proportion of which is to consist of original productions;

(b)that, in determining for the purposes of the condition whether a programme is of a description of programmes excluded by virtue of paragraph (a), regard is to be had to any guidance prepared and published, and from to time revised, by OFCOM.

(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)References in this section, in relation to a licensed public service channel, to original productions are references to programmes of such description as the Secretary of State may by order specify as describing the programmes that are to be original productions for the purposes of this section.

(7)The power to specify descriptions of programmes by order under subsection (6) includes power to confer such discretions on OFCOM as the Secretary of State thinks fit.

(8)Before making an order under this section the Secretary of State must consult OFCOM, the BBC and the Welsh Authority.

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

(10)In this section—

  • “peak viewing time”, in relation to a licensed public service channel, means a time that appears to OFCOM to be, or to be likely to be, a peak viewing time for that channel; and

  • “programme” does not include an advertisement.

(11)Before determining for the purposes of this section what constitutes a peak viewing time for a channel, OFCOM must consult the provider of the channel.

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