A radio station or TV channel not keeping to Ofcom's licensing rules

Ofcom licenses radio and television stations to broadcast their services. Those licences contain a number of requirements such as the broadcaster's obligation to provide Ofcom with information and recordings. Some of the licences also contain rules about what type of content may be broadcast, for example the type of music a radio station plays, a community radio station's Key Commitments, or the amount of subtitling on TV.

Please check what TV and radio stations are required to broadcast before submitting your complaint.

How can I complain?

If you believe a channel or station isn’t keeping to the licensing rules that apply to its service, please complete our broadcast licensing complaint form.

You should use this form if you want to complain about a TV or radio station not meeting the programming requirements included in its licence (see further information about this below), or if a licensed radio station or local TV channel is off air.

You should not use this form:

  • if you want to complain to Ofcom about the content of a specific programme;
  • to provide feedback on the quality of a broadcast programme;
  • if you are concerned that a TV channel is not providing enough subtitling, signing or audio-description.

What happens when I make a complaint?

We assess each complaint we receive to decide whether it raises issues that we are able to consider under our General procedures for investigating breaches of broadcast licences (PDF, 296.7 KB).

If your complaint falls within the remit of these procedures, we will consider it carefully to decide whether it raises issues which warrant further investigation. Whether or not we believe an investigation is required, we will write back to you with the outcome of your complaint. Our decision will also normally be published in our Broadcast and On Demand Bulletin, which is published every fortnight on our website.

If your complaint does not fall within this remit, your complaint will be logged but you will not receive a further response from us.

Ofcom can also launch investigations without needing to receive a complaint from a viewer or listener.

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