Since 1 January 2016, Ofcom has been sole regulator (other than in relation to advertising) for on-demand programme services (“ODPS”) under Part 4A of the Communications Act 2003 (the “Act”).
On 18 December 2015, Ofcom published details of arrangements that would apply from 1 January 2016, and consulted on two substantive proposals. One was to introduce new Procedures for investigating breaches of rules for on-demand programme services to replace the Interim Breach Procedures, and to align more closely with the position for linear television broadcasting. The other was not to charge fees under section 368NA of the Act and instead to cover the small incremental cost involved in becoming sole regulator of ODPS within the existing fees structure for television broadcasting licensees.
This document sets out Ofcom’s conclusions having carefully considered consultation responses. Firstly we will implement the new Procedures, with minor amendments in response to points raised in consultation, with effect from 1 April 2016. Secondly, further financial planning work indicates that the incremental costs of becoming sole regulator of ODPS are in fact so small that they are likely substantially to be covered by the surplus which will pass from ATVOD to Ofcom in respect of fees collected but not spent in the 2015-16 financial year. This means, in the 2016-17 financial year, we will neither charge fees under section 368NA nor require television broadcasting licensees to contribute. We will re-consult in due course in relation to future financial years.
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