Ofcom brings regulation of ‘video-on-demand’ in-house

14 October 2015

The regulation of 'video-on-demand' programme services is being brought fully within Ofcom to sit alongside its regulation of broadcast content.

The move follows an Ofcom review to ensure regulation of broadcast and on-demand content remains as effective and efficient as possible for the benefit of consumers, audiences and industry.

The review included the current co-regulatory arrangements for video-on-demand services. These can include catch-up TV and on-demand services on the TV and the internet. Ofcom designated the Authority for Television On Demand (ATVOD) in 2010 as a co-regulator to take the lead in regulating editorial content for video-on-demand services.

Following the review, Ofcom has decided that acting as sole regulator for video-on-demand programmes is a more effective model for the future than having two separate bodies carrying out this work. This will create operational efficiencies and allow editorial content on video-on-demand to sit alongside Ofcom's existing regulation of broadcasting.

Video-on-demand services have become increasingly popular among viewers. The proportion of adults aged 15 and over that watch video-on-demand services has increased from 27% in 2010 to 57% in 2014, according to Ofcom research1.

ATVOD has played an important, effective role in regulating on-demand TV over the past five years. Like Ofcom, it is committed to protecting audiences from harmful content.

ATVOD and Ofcom are therefore working closely together to ensure a smooth transfer of responsibilities so that audiences, especially children, remain protected at all times.

As co-regulator for on-demand services, Ofcom already has concurrent responsibility to act in addition to, or in place of, ATVOD. From 1 January 2016, Ofcom will take sole responsibility for regulating video-on-demand programme services. The Advertising Standards Authority will continue to act as a co-regulator for advertising content on video-on-demand services.



  1. Ofcom's Communications Market Report 2015 shows the proportion watching video-on-demand services among adults aged 15+ has increased from 27% in the first half of 2010, to 57% in the second half of 2014. The figures are higher among younger audiences – 70% for 15-24s (second half of 2014) and 71% among 25-34s (second half of 2014) – up from 35% for both demographics since 2010.
  2. ATVOD has published fee tables for the financial year to 31 March 2016 and those continue to apply; no further fees will be due for this period. In relation to future financial years, Ofcom will consult on any future fees as required by the Communications Act (and as ATVOD have in previous years).
  3. Ofcom is the independent regulator and competition authority for the UK communications industries, with responsibilities across television, radio, telecommunications, wireless communications and postal services.
  4. For further information about Ofcom please visit: www.ofcom.org.uk. Ofcom's news releases can be found at: http://media.ofcom.org.uk/