“TV-like” video On Demand Programme Services (ODPS) in UK jurisdiction have to abide by a set of minimum standards which derive from the European Audio Visual Media Service (AVMS) Directive. ODPS include services such as TV catch up and online film streaming services. The platform these services are delivered on does not matter, so services on connected TVs, apps on mobile phones and programmes you view through set top boxes may be regulated under this legislation. Programmes included on such services must be “TV-Like”, in that they are comparable to the programmes that appear on broadcast television. However, we interpret this requirement in a dynamic way and recognise the broad range and diversity of content found across the UK’s TV landscape.
In the first instance, the Authority for Television on Demand (ATVOD) determines whether a service fulfil the criteria to fall under ATVOD and Ofcom’s regulation. ATVOD has published Guidance on who needs to notify, which sets out in detail the criteria that a service must meet. You can find this Guidance on ATVOD’s website at: http://www.atvod.co.uk/regulated-services
A service which has been determined by ATVOD to fall in Scope can appeal to Ofcom. Scope Appeals must be made in accordance with Ofcom’s Procedures and will be considered under those Procedures. You can find the Procedures at: http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/binaries/broadcast/tv-ops/vod/appeals-procedures.pdf
Ofcom has made a number of Scope Appeal decisions, which are listed below and which may help understand if a particular service is a regulated ODPS.