House of Commons portcullis
House of Commons
Session 2002 - 03
Internet Publications
Other Bills before Parliament

Communications Bill


Communications Bill
Part 3 — Television and Radio Services
Chapter 4 — Regulatory provisions

    239

 

           (a)           must, in the case of each licensed public service channel, be such

proportion as OFCOM consider appropriate for ensuring that the

channel is consistently of a high quality; and

           (b)           may, for the purposes of paragraph (b) of that subsection, be expressed

as the cumulative effect of two different minimum proportions, one

5

applying to peak viewing times and the other to other times.

     (3)    A condition contained in a licence by virtue of this section may provide—

           (a)           that specified descriptions of programmes are to be excluded in

determining the programmes a proportion of which is to consist of

original productions;

10

           (b)           that, in determining for the purposes of the condition whether a

programme is of a description of programmes excluded by virtue of

paragraph (a), regard is to be had to any guidance prepared and

published, and from to time revised, by OFCOM.

     (4)    Before imposing a condition under this section, OFCOM must consult the

15

person on whom it is to be imposed.

     (5)    The requirement to consult is satisfied, in the case of the imposition of a

condition by way of a variation of a licence, by compliance with section 3(4)(b)

of the 1990 Act (obligation to give opportunity to make representations about

variation).

20

     (6)    References in this section, in relation to a licensed public service channel, to

original productions are references to programmes of such description as the

Secretary of State may by order specify as describing the programmes that are

to be original productions for the purposes of this section.

     (7)    Before making an order under this section the Secretary of State must consult

25

OFCOM, the BBC and the Welsh Authority.

     (8)    No order is to be made containing provision authorised by this section unless

a draft of the order has been laid before Parliament and approved by a

resolution of each House.

     (9)    In this section—

30

                    “peak viewing time”, in relation to a licensed public service channel,

means a time that appears to OFCOM to be, or to be likely to be, a peak

viewing time for that channel; and

                    “programme” does not include an advertisement.

     (10)   Before determining for the purposes of this section what constitutes a peak

35

viewing time for a channel, OFCOM must consult the provider of the channel.

News provision etc. on public service television

 271   News and current affairs programmes

     (1)    The regulatory regime for every licensed public service channel includes the

conditions that OFCOM consider appropriate for securing—

40

           (a)           that the programmes included in the channel include news

programmes and current affairs programmes;

           (b)           that the news programmes and current affairs programmes included in

the service are of high quality and deal with both national and

international matters; and

45

 

 

Communications Bill
Part 3 — Television and Radio Services
Chapter 4 — Regulatory provisions

    240

 

           (c)           that the news programmes so included are broadcast for viewing at

intervals throughout the period for which the channel is provided.

     (2)    That regime also includes the conditions that OFCOM consider appropriate for

securing that, in each year—

           (a)           the time allocated to the broadcasting of news programmes included in

5

the service, and

           (b)           the time allocated to the broadcasting of current affairs programmes so

included,

            each constitutes no less than what appears to OFCOM to be an appropriate

proportion of the time allocated to the broadcasting of all the programmes

10

included in the channel.

     (3)    It further includes the conditions that OFCOM consider appropriate for

securing that the time allocated—

           (a)           to the broadcasting of news programmes included in the service, and

           (b)           to the broadcasting of current affairs programmes so included,

15

            is, in each case, split in what appears to OFCOM to be an appropriate manner

between peak viewing times and other times.

     (4)    The proportion determined by OFCOM for the purposes of subsection (2) may,

for the purposes of subsection (3), be expressed as the cumulative effect of two

different minimum proportions, one applying to peak viewing times and the

20

other to other times.

     (5)    In this section “peak viewing time”, in relation to a licensed public service

channel, means a time determined by OFCOM to be, or to be likely to be, a peak

viewing time for that channel.

     (6)    Before determining for the purposes of this section—

25

           (a)           the proportion of time to be allocated to the broadcasting of news

programmes or current affairs programmes; or

           (b)           what constitutes a peak viewing time for a channel,

            OFCOM must consult the provider of the channel or (as the case may be) the

person who is proposing to provide it.

30

     (7)    The requirement to consult is satisfied, in the case of the imposition of a

condition by way of a variation of a licence, by compliance with section 3(4)(b)

of the 1990 Act (obligation to give opportunity to make representations about

variation).

 272   Appointed news providers for Channel 3

35

     (1)    The regulatory regime for every regional Channel 3 service includes the

conditions that OFCOM consider appropriate for securing the nationwide

broadcasting, on the regional Channel 3 services (taken together), of news

programmes that are able to compete effectively with other television news

programmes broadcast nationwide in the United Kingdom.

40

     (2)    The conditions imposed under this section must include a condition requiring

the holder of a regional Channel 3 licence to do all that he can to ensure—

           (a)           that arrangements for the appointment of a single body corporate as the

appointed news provider are maintained between all the holders of

regional Channel 3 licences; and

45

 

 

Communications Bill
Part 3 — Television and Radio Services
Chapter 4 — Regulatory provisions

    241

 

           (b)           that, at all times while he is providing a regional Channel 3 service,

there is in force an appointment made in accordance with those

arrangements.

     (3)    The arrangements that are required to be maintained by virtue of conditions

imposed under subsection (2) must provide—

5

           (a)           for an appointment of a person as the appointed news provider to be

made only from among bodies corporate nominated by OFCOM in

accordance with section 32 of the 1990 Act;

           (b)           for such an appointment to cease to have effect if the nomination under

section 32 of the 1990 Act of the appointed person is terminated;

10

           (c)           for the terms on which such an appointment is made to include the

terms appearing to OFCOM to be appropriate for securing that the

finances of the person appointed are adequate, throughout the period

of his appointment, to ensure that the Channel 3 news obligations are

capable of being met; and

15

           (d)           for the approval of OFCOM to be required for the purposes of

paragraph (c) to the terms on which such an appointment is made.

     (4)    The conditions imposed under this section must include a condition requiring

the news programmes included in a regional Channel 3 service—

           (a)           to be programmes provided by the person who is for the time being the

20

appointed news provider for the purposes of this section; and

           (b)           to be so included in that service as to be broadcast simultaneously with

the broadcasting of news programmes included, in accordance with

conditions imposed under this subsection, in other regional Channel 3

services.

25

     (5)    Those conditions must also require the news programmes provided by the

appointed news provider which, in accordance with a condition imposed

under subsection (4), are included in a regional Channel 3 service to be

programmes that are presented live.

     (6)    OFCOM—

30

           (a)           may issue guidance as to the terms that will satisfy requirements

imposed by virtue of subsection (3)(c); and

           (b)           must have regard to guidance for the time being in force under this

subsection when considering whether to give an approval for the

purposes of provision made by virtue of subsection (3)(d).

35

     (7)    For the purposes of this section the Channel 3 news obligations are—

           (a)           the requirements of any conditions imposed in relation to regional

Channel 3 services under section 271; and

           (b)           the nationwide broadcasting on the regional Channel 3 services (taken

together) of news programmes that are able to compete effectively with

40

other television news programmes broadcast nationwide in the United

Kingdom.

     (8)    Conditions imposed under this section are not to require arrangements to

make provision falling within subsection (3)(c) or (d) in relation to

appointments made before the commencement of this section.

45

 

 

Communications Bill
Part 3 — Television and Radio Services
Chapter 4 — Regulatory provisions

    242

 

 273   Power to repeal Channel 3 news provider provisions

     (1)    If it appears to the Secretary of State appropriate to do so, he may by order

repeal section 272 of this Act and section 32 of the 1990 Act.

     (2)    Except in a case to which subsection (3) applies, the Secretary of State must

consult OFCOM before making an order under this section.

5

     (3)    Consultation with OFCOM is not required if the order is confined to giving

effect to recommendations by OFCOM that are contained in a report of a

review under section 377.

     (4)    No order is to be made containing provision authorised by this section unless

a draft of the order has been laid before Parliament and approved by a

10

resolution of each House.

 274   News providers for Channel 5

     (1)    If it appears to the Secretary of State appropriate to do so, he may by order

make provision requiring news programmes included in Channel 5 to be

provided by a person appointed as a news provider in accordance with the

15

order.

     (2)    An order under this section may make provision in relation to Channel 5 that

corresponds, with such modifications as the Secretary of State thinks fit, to any

provision made in relation to regional Channel 3 services by section 272 of this

Act or section 32 of the 1990 Act.

20

     (3)    Subsection (2) applies irrespective of any repeal or other modification by an

order under this Act of section 272 of this Act or section 32 of the 1990 Act.

     (4)    An order under this section may include provision for section 194A of the 1990

Act (application of Competition Act 1998 to Channel 3 news provision) to have

effect (with such modifications as may be specified in the order) in relation to

25

the appointment of a person as a news provider for Channel 5 as it has effect in

relation to the appointment of a person as a news provider for Channel 3.

     (5)    The Secretary of State is not to make an order under this section for the

imposition of obligations in relation to Channel 5 unless he is satisfied that

Channel 5’s share of the audience for television broadcasting services is

30

broadly equivalent to that of the services comprising Channel 3.

     (6)    An order under this section must require a licence holder to have a reasonable

opportunity of making representations to OFCOM before his licence is varied

in pursuance of the order.

     (7)    Except in a case to which subsection (8) applies, the Secretary of State must

35

consult OFCOM before making an order under this section.

     (8)    Consultation with OFCOM is not required if the order is confined to giving

effect to recommendations by OFCOM that are contained in a report of a

review under section 377.

     (9)    No order is to be made containing provision authorised by this section unless

40

a draft of the order has been laid before Parliament and approved by a

resolution of each House.

 

 

 
previous section contents continue
 
House of Commons home page Houses of Parliament home page House of Lords home page search page enquiries

© Parliamentary copyright 2002
Revised 20 November 2002