A DTPS is a service providing television programmes - generally, a DTPS consists of “normal” television channels (consisting of moving pictures), including their interactive enhancements. A DTAS is a service which usually consists of self-standing text or data services, including teletext services and EPGs.
A TLCS is a television service broadcast from a satellite, distributed using an electronic communications network (including services broadcast over the internet), or a service made available by a radio multiplex.
The UK Government has now made the proposed legal changes that would apply to broadcasting in the UK from exit day, in the event of no deal. This statutory instrument (SI) is called the Broadcasting (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019, or SI 2019/224. Ofcom has prepared new licences to reflect this new legislation.
Process for implementing the new regime
Seeking comment on new licences. We are seeking comments on the new licences that would be issued to all new successful Television Licensable Content Service (TLCS), Digital Television Programme Service (DTPS) and Digital Television Additional Service (DTAS) applicants after exit day, in the event of no deal. Subject to representations and further consultation, these changes would also eventually affect all existing licensees.
Consulting with EPG providers. Separately, we are formallyconsulting with existing licensed providers of electronic programme guides (EPGs), which would become “regulated EPGs” on exit, in order to modify their licences. On exit day we propose to insert two new licence conditions 10(2) TLCS, and condition 7(2) DTAS. These licence conditions would ensure that services listed on “regulated EPGs” are appropriately licensed.
Consulting on implementing the ECTT. In the event of no deal, TV channels based in the UK that broadcast to another country signed up to the European Convention on Transfrontier Television (ECTT) would be regulated under the provisions of the ECTT. In this event, we would expect the Secretary of State to direct Ofcom on the day of Brexit to ensure that broadcast licences require their holders to comply with the content rules set out in ECTT, where relevant. We propose then to consult publicly on changes required to relevant standards codes in order to implement the content provisions of the ECTT for affected broadcasters. Please note that regulation 7 of SI 2019/224 contains a direction to Ofcom on what “receivable” means for this purpose.
Amending existing licences. We propose then to amend all existing TLCS, DTPS and DTAS licences to incorporate the changes, after consulting with licence holders. If we make changes to our proposals following that consultation, we would publish these, reflect them in the template licence, and seek to modify all licensees’ licences accordingly.
The proposed new template licences contain the following changes from the current versions:
Condition 1 TLCS, DTAS, DTPS: We have added new definitions as needed. (Please note that we propose to retain some references to the Audiovisual Media Services Directive and to definitions within it because SI 2019/224 is drafted so as to retain certain obligations from it in relation to quotas and listed events.)
Condition 2(2) TLCS, DTAS, DTPS: This would implement requirements of the European Convention on Transfrontier Television (ECTT) regarding information to be made available to the public. We have taken the view that these should be implemented for all licensees and not just those caught by the ECTT, as the obligations are not onerous and differentiating licensees’ obligations in this regard is likely to confuse the public.
Condition 6(B) TLCS and DTPS; Condition 5(B) DTAS: This new condition would require compliance, for those affected, with a new ECTT standards code, once we have issued it.
Condition 7(6A) TLCS and DTPS: would implement the UK’s obligations relating to listed events under the ECTT.
Condition 10(2) TLCS, and Condition 7(2) DTAS: contains the new condition we are required by SI 2019/224 to impose relating to “regulated EPGs”.
Please let Ofcom know if you have any comments on the wording of the proposed new licence templates available below as soon as possible, and before 19 March 2019. Please send any comments to BrexitBroadcastingEnquiries@ofcom.org.uk.
On 19 November 2014 Ofcom published a statement setting out our decision to make spectrum in the 700 MHz band available for mobile data use. This is part of the spectrum band currently used to broadcast digital television, including local TV.
To enable the change of use, we will need to re-plan the frequencies used by digital television. Until this exercise is complete, the future coverage of local services cannot be accurately predicted with confidence.
Our invitations to apply for local television licences have always included information on coverage, to help applicants make their business plans. These business plans are an important element of our consideration of applications, following the statutory criteria for licence awards.
Once Ofcom has sufficient clarity over spectrum availability we will consider whether and when to advertise the remaining three areas that we have not yet advertised: Kidderminster, Bromsgrove and Stratford upon Avon. We have no current plans to advertise any other areas.
An RTSL-E is a licence which allows the broadcasting of television programmes for a particular event. Both a Broadcasting Act licence and a Wireless Telegraphy Act licence are required in order to broadcast a restricted television service.