Statement: On-demand programme services – who needs to notify to Ofcom?

Published: 31 March 2021
Consultation closes: 26 May 2021
Status: Closed (statement published)

Statement published 8 September 2021

On 1 November 2020 new regulations applying to UK-based on demand programme services (“ODPS”) came into force. These new rules amended the criteria used to determine whether a service would qualify as an ODPS and therefore fall within the scope of the regulatory framework. ODPS providers in the UK are legally obliged to submit a formal notification of their service to Ofcom and must comply with statutory requirements intended to prevent the inclusion of harmful content and certain types of advertising and sponsorship. Further information on the background and legislative context of the updated regulations can be found in the guidance published alongside this statement.

Providers must make their own assessment of whether their service meets the statutory criteria and should therefore be notified. The guidance, On-demand programme services: who needs to notify to Ofcom? ( “the final guidance”), published alongside this statement is intended to help providers understand whether they fall within scope of the definition of an ODPS for the purposes of the Communications Act 2003 (“the Act”).

Where it appears to Ofcom that a service meets the statutory criteria but has not notified to us, we have statutory powers to request information in order to make an assessment, and to take enforcement action if a provider has failed to notify. This can include a financial sanction and directing the provider to notify.

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