Statement: Proposed changes to broadcast licence conditions

Published: 10 September 2020
Consultation closes: 8 October 2020
Status: Closed (statement published)

Statement published 20 November 2020

This Statement sets out changes that Ofcom is making to the conditions included in television, radio and multiplex broadcast licences issued under the Broadcasting Acts 1990 and 1996.

These include two amendments to television broadcasting licences to reflect the new requirements of the revised Audiovisual Media Services Directive (“AVMSD”) and the UK Government’s implementation of it through the Audiovisual Media Services Regulations 2020 (“the AVMS Regulations”) which came into force on 1 November 2020.

Our proposals for television licences also reflect changes to legislation which will take effect following the end of the transition period. Finally, this Statement also sets out some other changes we are making to all broadcast licences.

Since publishing the Consultation on proposed changes to licence conditions, we have identifed two minor errors in the proposed licences which we would like to correct when we make any changes to the licences resulting from the consultation. The proposed corrections are detailed below and interested parties have until 5pm on Wednesday 11 November to provide comments on the corrections.

Please send any comments to If we do not receive any responses, we will make these changes along with any changes resulting from the consultation.

Proposed correction 1

We have noted some out of date wording in the Definition of the “Code of Electronic Programme Guides”. The out of date wording is currently contained in the television licensable content service (“TLCS”), digital television programme service (“DTPS”), public service digital television programme service (“PSDTPS”) and digital television additional service (“DTAS”) licences, and says:

Code on Electronic Programme Guides” means the code giving guidance as to the practices to be followed in the provision of electronic programme guides as drawn up and from time to time revised by Ofcom in accordance with Section 310 of the Communications Act (and in the event that such code has not been drawn up by Ofcom or is not yet in force, “Code on Electronic Programme Guides” shall be interpreted to mean the Code of Conduct on Electronic Programme Guides drawn up by the Independent Television Commission and in force immediately before the commencement of Section 310 of the Communications Act, which code shall continue to have effect (notwithstanding the substitutions made by that section):

until the code drawn up by Ofcom under that section comes into force; but in relation to times before the coming into force of Ofcom’s code, as if references in the code to the Independent Television Commission were references to Ofcom)” 

Given that Ofcom has drawn up a Code on Electronic Programme Guides, we consider the wording that we have struck-through above should be removed, for clarity for licensees.

Proposed correction 2

We have noted a cross referencing error in the revocation condition of the TLCS licence, which we propose to correct.

The revocation condition refers Condition 6(i)(b), but this clause does not exist. Condition 6 is the General standards and requirements condition and reads:

“The Licensee shall ensure that the provisions of the Standards Code are observed in the provision of the Licensed Service.”

As the licence condition does not have any sub-clauses, we intend to remove the reference clause (i)(b) as indicated below using strikethrough text:

“If Ofcom is satisfied that the Licensee has included in the Licensed Service one or more programmes containing material likely to encourage or incite the commission of crime or to lead to disorder such that the Licensee has thereby contravened Condition 6(i)(b), or any other Condition contained in the Licence by virtue of Part 3, Chapter 4 of the Communications Act, and that the contravention is such as to justify the revocation of the Licence, Ofcom shall serve on the Licensee a notice: …”

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