Television Multiplex Licence Renewal - Multiplex B
- Start: 07 May 2012
- Status: Statement published
- End: 21 June 2012
1.1 In 2002, Ofcom awarded a licence under the Broadcasting Act 1996 (the "1996 Act" and the "Mux B Licence") for the operation of digital terrestrial television ("DTT") multiplex known as Multiplex B to BBC Free-to-View Limited ("BFtV"). This licence is due to expire in November 2014. Under the provisions of the 1996 Act the licensee may apply to renew its licence for a further period of 12 years.
1.2 In February 2012, Ofcom received an application from BFtV to renew the Mux B Licence. Under section 16 of the 1996 Act, when considering whether or not to renew a television multiplex licence, Ofcom has to decide whether to require additional obligations relating to: (a) the coverage of the service; and/or (b) promoting the acquisition of digital terrestrial television ("DTT") receiving equipment. Ofcom also has to decide whether to require the licensee to make additional payments, in the form of a percentage of multiplex revenue.
1.3 Following consultation we have decided that it is appropriate to renew the Mux B Licence for a further 12 year period and that we will not require any additional obligations in respect of coverage of the promotion of DTT equipment in the renewed licence.
1.4 We have also decided not to require BFtV to pay a percentage of multiplex revenue (PMR) in respect of the Mux B licence upon renewal. This is in light of our stated intention to introduce Administered Incentive Pricing (AIP) as a means of charging for the spectrum used for broadcasting.
1.5 Under the Act, the consent of the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport (the "Secretary of State") is required before any renewal or refusal to renew may take effect. The Secretary of State has confirmed that he consents to our approach. He has also confirmed that he will not use his discretionary powers to direct us to set a rate for PMR.
1.6 In addition to considering whether to renew the Mux Licence B under section 16 of the 1996 Act, in February 2012 BFtV requested that Ofcom should also consider the removal of certain existing licence requirements related to the promotion of reception equipment which BFtV considered have been successfully achieved. We have decided that, subject to the formal consent of the licence holder in accordance with section 12(2) of the 1996 Act, the renewed BA Licences should be varied to remove these provisions, and for reasons set out in this Statement one further provision. The provisions are as follows:
- The definitions of "DTT Marketing Plan" and "ServicesCo" contained in Condition 1;
- The words "through or involving ServicesCo or otherwise" in Condition 11(8);
- Condition 11(9);
- Annex A, Part 6;
- Annex B, Part 1.
1.7 We will write to BFtV , the holder of the licence for Multiplex B, to notify them of our decision, in accordance with section 16 of the 1996 Act, to renew their licences for a period of 12 years without requiring additional obligations relating to: (a) the coverage of the service; and/or (b) promoting the acquisition of DTT receiving equipment. We will also not require BFtV to pay a PMR in respect of the Mux B Licence.
1.8 Separately, once the renewal process has been completed, we will write to BFtV to formally seek their consent, in accordance with section 12(2) of the 1996 Act, to vary the renewed Mux B Licence so as to remove the provisions set out at paragraph 1.6 above from the renewed Mux B Licence.