Advanced Television

Ofcom sets out Media Bill regulation roadmap

February 26, 2024

By Colin Mann

UK broadcast regulator Ofcom has set out its plans for putting the Media Bill into practice, once it becomes law.

The Bill represents the first major update to media legislation for 20 years. It takes forward many of Ofcom’s recommendations to deliver a stronger system of public service media fit for the digital age, following its major review, Small Screen: Big Debate.

Specifically, the Bill provides Ofcom with new tools to ensure that UK viewers and listeners can continue to access high quality programming and journalism, while being protected from harmful content.

It makes changes to its existing responsibilities – including to its regulation of commercial radio and how it ensures that public service broadcasters deliver against their quotas. It also introduces new duties, including a requirement to put in place new regulations for online TV prominence and voice assistants, as well as a standards-setting code for streaming services.

Ofcom says it will implement the new rules as quickly as possible once they become law, ensuring its approach is fair, proportionate and effective. The timelines set out in the roadmap to regulation are based on its current understanding of the new duties and when it expects the legislation to come into force.

“As Parliamentary scheduling and our own preparatory work progresses, our plans could be subject to change, and we will provide further updates as necessary,” concludes Ofcom.

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