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Communications Act 2003

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This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

351Changes of control of Channel 3 services
This section has no associated Explanatory Notes

(1)The regulatory regime for every Channel 3 service provided by a body corporate includes—

(a)a condition requiring the licence holder to give OFCOM advance notification of any proposals known to the body that may give rise to a relevant change of control; and

(b)a condition requiring the licence holder to provide OFCOM, in such manner and at such times as they may reasonably require, with such information as they consider necessary for the purposes of exercising their functions under this section and section 352.

(2)OFCOM must carry out a review where—

(a)they receive notification, in accordance with a condition of a Channel 3 licence, of proposals that may give rise to a relevant change of control; or

(b)a relevant change of control takes place (whether or not that change has been previously notified to OFCOM).

(3)The review shall be a review of the effects or likely effects, in relation to the matters mentioned in subsections (4) to (7), of—

(a)the change to which the proposals may give rise; or

(b)the change that has taken place.

(4)The matters mentioned in this subsection are—

(a)the extent to which time available for broadcasting programmes included in the service is allocated to programmes of each of the following descriptions—

(i)original productions;

(ii)news programmes; and

(iii)current affairs programmes;

(b)the extent to which programmes of each of those descriptions that are included in the service are broadcast at peak viewing times.

(5)The matters mentioned in this subsection are—

(a)the extent to which Channel 3 programmes made in the United Kingdom that are included in the service are programmes made outside the M25 area;

(b)the range of Channel 3 programmes made in the United Kingdom outside that area that are included in the service;

(c)the extent to which the expenditure of the provider of the service on Channel 3 programmes is referable to programme production at different production centres outside the M25 area;

(d)the range of different such production centres to which that expenditure is referable.

(6)The matters mentioned in this subsection are—

(a)the quality and range of regional programmes included in the service;

(b)the quality and range of other programmes included in the service which contribute to the regional character of the service;

(c)the quality and range of the programmes made available by the licence holder for the purposes of inclusion in the nationwide system of services referred to in section 14(1) of the 1990 Act (nationwide Channel 3 service).

(7)The matters mentioned in this subsection are—

(a)the amount of time given, in the programmes included in the service—

(i)to regional programmes; and

(ii)to programmes included in the service which contribute to the regional character of the service;

(b)the proportion of regional programmes included in the service which are made within the area for which the service is provided;

(c)the extent of the use, in connection with the service, of the services of persons employed (whether by the licence holder or any other person) within that area;

(d)the extent to which managerial or editorial decisions relating to programmes to be included in the service are taken by persons so employed within that area.

(8)In relation to a national Channel 3 service, subsections (3) to (7) have effect as if—

(a)subsection (5) applied only where the service is subject to conditions imposed by virtue of a decision of OFCOM under section 286(2) or OFCOM otherwise consider, having regard to the nature of the service, that it is appropriate to consider the matters mentioned in that subsection;

(b)references to regional programmes were references to programmes which are regional programmes (within the meaning of section 287) in relation to that service and are included in it in accordance with a condition imposed under subsection (4)(a) of that section;

(c)references to the regional character of the service were references to the regional character of parts of the service;

(d)subsection (6)(c) of this section were omitted; and

(e)references, in relation to programmes such as are mentioned in paragraph (b), to the area for which the service is provided were references to the part of that area where the people are living to whom those programmes are likely to be of particular interest.

(9)Where OFCOM carry out a review under subsection (2), they must publish a report of that review—

(a)setting out their conclusions; and

(b)specifying any steps which they propose to take under section 352.

(10)In this section—

  • “Channel 3 programmes” and “expenditure” each has the same meaning as in section 286;

  • “original production” has the same meaning as in section 278;

  • “peak viewing time”—

    (a)

    in relation to original productions, means a time determined by OFCOM for the purposes of section 278 to be a peak viewing time for the service in question; and

    (b)

    in relation to news programmes or current affairs programmes, means a time so determined for the purposes of section 279;

  • “regional programme”, in relation to a Channel 3 service, means (subject to subsection (8)) a programme (including a news programme) which is of particular interest—

    (a)

    to persons living within the area for which the service is provided;

    (b)

    to persons living within a part of that area; or

    (c)

    to particular communities living within that area;

  • “relevant change of control” means a change in the persons having control over—

    (a)

    a body holding the licence to provide a Channel 3 service; or

    (b)

    any body which—

    (i)

    is connected with a body holding such a licence; and

    (ii)

    is involved, to a substantial extent, in the provision of the programmes included in the service provided under that licence, or is likely to become so involved.

(11)Expressions used in this section and in Part 1 of Schedule 2 to the 1990 Act (restrictions on licence holders) have the same meanings in this section as in that Part.

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