Reed Smith Client Alerts

At the beginning of July, Ofcom published “Recommendations to Government for a new framework to keep PSB TV prominent in an online world”, as part of its wider programme of work aimed at ensuring that public service broadcasting is maintained and strengthened into the future.

Ofcom’s electronic programme guide (EPG) Code, requiring “appropriate prominence” to be given to public service television channels in EPGs, has been a key regulatory measure in the multichannel linear television environment. With UK household subscriptions to on-demand platforms Netflix, Amazon, Disney Life and NOW TV alone reaching 19.1 million in Q1 2019, many households accessing TV content through connected TVs, and linear viewing time declining, Ofcom is clear that the current regulatory regime requires updating if prominence for public service television is to be preserved in the rapidly-changing environment.

Ofcom intends to engage with government and industry over the summer to discuss its recommendations and next steps.