Advanced Television

Ofcom: No BritBox BBC Public Service distortion

September 19, 2019

By Colin Mann

UK broadcast regulator Ofcom has published final conclusions on the relationship between BritBox – a proposed new streaming service from ITV and the BBC – and the BBC’s publicly-funded (or ‘Public Service’) activities.

As required under the Corporation’s Charter and Agreement, Ofcom has assessed whether the BBC’s involvement in Britbox represents a ‘material change’ to its commercial activities. Having carefully considered the evidence and industry feedback to our consultation, it has decided that:

  • there is not a significant risk that the BBC’s involvement in BritBox may, as a result of the relationship with the BBC’s Public Service activities, distort the market or create an unfair competitive advantage;
  • the BBC’s involvement in BritBox does not, therefore, give rise to a material change to its commercial activities.

Ofcom already has measures in place to regulate the boundary between the BBC’s public-service and commercial activities, which will address most concerns raised during our consultation. In addition, the regulator will closely monitor the BBC’s plans and involvement with the new venture, particularly changes to the BBC’s programme release policy and any cross-promotion from the BBC, confirming that it will step in if it has any concerns as the service develops.

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