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Digital Economy Act 2010

Topic 1: OFCOM reports

Section 2: OFCOM reports on media content

29.Section 264 of the 2003 Act requires OFCOM to report at least every five years on the fulfilment of the public service remit for television by public service broadcasters, namely television services provided by the British Broadcasting Corporation (“BBC”), Channel 4, Sianel Pedwar Cymru (“S4C”), Channel 3 services, Channel 5 and the public teletext service. The public service remit involves the provision of a balanced diversity of high quality content, which meets the needs and interests of different audiences in the United Kingdom. Paragraphs (b) to (j) of section 264(6) of the 2003 Act provide detailed public service objectives underpinning this remit. According to these objectives, examples of public service media content would include content that reflects, supports and stimulates cultural activity in the United Kingdom, and content that facilitates fair and well informed debates on news and current affairs.

30.This section extends the scope of OFCOM’s reviewing and reporting obligations beyond television. Under new section 264A of the 2003 Act, OFCOM will be required to consider the wider delivery of public service media content on other platforms, such as the internet and on-demand programme services, and review the extent to which such content contributes towards the fulfilment of the public service objectives defined in section 264(6)(b) to (j).

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