Technology

ITV ownership rules not to change: Ofcom

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MUMBAI: There will be no changes in the ownership rules affecting UK’s principal independent broadcaster ITV, UK broadcast sector regulator Ofcom said.

According to the prevalent rules a newspaper group with more than a fifth of national newspaper share cannot hold a Channel 3 licence or a stake in a Channel 3 licensee that is greater than 2 per cent. Also, certain persons are disqualified from holding broadcast licences generally while certain others are not allowed to hold certain kinds of broadcast licences. The rules also say that some persons may hold broadcast licences only if Ofcom has determined that it is appropriate for them to do so.

It is Ofcom’s resposibilty to ensure that regional Channel 3 licensees broadcast news programmes nationally which are able to compete effectively with other national television news, by requiring them to appoint a single news provider between them. Persons who would be disqualified from holding a Channel 3 licence are also disqualified from being the Channel 3 appointed news provider.

Ofcom also has a statutory duty to review the media ownership rules regularly and counsel for any change to the UK Secretary of State.

Ofcom said that the wider public policy debate about media ownership is ongoing and believes that any recommendations it makes will need to be considered in light of any changes to the legislative and policy framework. According to the regulatory body, it has neither observed any Parliamentary policy rationale nor any shift in the market context in which they operate for existing rules to be changed.

In a statement, the regulator said, “Our advice on measuring media plurality set out that it is for Parliament to decide if and when this rule should be modified or removed and that the conclusion of the first periodic review of plurality is likely to provide greater certainty than is currently available. As such, we do not recommend any changes to this rule in this review.”

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