UK: Ofcom becomes the first external regulator of the BBC

Under the new BBC Charter and Agreement, Ofcom’s role is to hold the BBC’s performance and editorial standards to account, and also to regulate the competitive effects of its services.

The unitary BBC board will be responsible for governing and running the Corporation. The National Audit Office will be responsible for the ensuring the BBC delivers value for money, while the Charter itself – and the licence fee – remain matters for Government.

Ofcom will regulate the content standards of the BBC’s television, radio and on-demand programs. The BBC will handle complaints about its content in the first instance, with Ofcom overseeing that process and handling appeals through a transparent process. Whenever required, Ofcom will step in.

Ofcom also have new duties to consider the effect of the BBC’s services on fair and effective competition in the broadcasting market.

Furthermore, the regulator has new duties to hold the BBC’s performance to account. The Charter sets clear objectives for the BBC to serve audiences, and puts a sharpened focus on distinctive, creative and high quality programs. Ofcom’s draft ‘operating license’, published last week, sets clear requirements on the BBC to uphold the quality of its programs.

Consultations on the draft license, and other aspects of Ofcom’s new framework for regulating the BBC, are open until 17 July.

Full Content: OFCOM

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