BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: Entertainment  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Tuesday, 7 May, 2002, 16:41 GMT 17:41 UK
Communications Bill at a glance
Channel 5 news set
Channel 5 could be bought by Rupert Murdoch
When it was first published, Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell promised the draft Communications Bill would create a regulatory regime which is "light in touch yet effective".

Here are the main points:

  • Rules preventing ownership of a single ITV will be scrapped

  • Large newspaper groups will now be able to buy a stake in Channel 5

  • Newspaper groups controlling more than 20% of the UK market will not be allowed "significant stakes" in ITV

  • Rules preventing non-European broadcaster ownership will be reformed

    'Public interest'

  • The new Office for Communications (Ofcom) will replace five current regulators - the Independent Television Commission, Radio Authority, Oftel, Broadcasting Standards Commission and Radiocommunications Agency

  • It will set up a "content board" to ensure the "public interest" is represented in television and radio programmes

  • The BBC's governors will retain most of their regulatory role, although Ofcom will deal with basic standards as well as public service broadcasting quotas - and can fine the BBC for breaking standards

  • A "consumer panel" will advise Ofcom

    Joint ownership

  • Radio groups will now be able to own more than one national commercial radio licence

  • Rule changes will also allow the consolidation of local commercial radio - there must be at least two operators and the BBC in areas with three or more stations

  • Restrictions on joint ownership of TV and radio interests would also end

  • Firms with a local newspaper monopoly - such as Trinity Mirror - will not also be able to hold the local ITV licence

  • Each local area must have "three voices" - radio, television and newspapers in different hands competing with the BBC

  • Powers will be held in reserve to ensure public service channels are broadcast on all platforms

    'Spectrum trading'

  • Criminal penalties would no longer apply to newspaper mergers

  • The bill removes the requirement for licensing of telecommunications systems (removing about 400 licences) and replaces it with a new regulatory regime for electronic communications networks

  • Introduces dealing of radio frequencies, known as "spectrum trading"

  • Public service broadcasters will have greater freedom to regulate themselves in certain areas


  • In DepthIN DEPTH
    Broadcasting
    Charting its past, present and digital future


    Setting up Ofcom

    Background
    Internet links:


    The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

    Links to more Entertainment stories are at the foot of the page.


    E-mail this story to a friend

    Links to more Entertainment stories

    © BBC ^^ Back to top

    News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
    South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
    Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
    Programmes