Licensing of Channel 3 and Channel 5 - A report from Ofcom to the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport

Published 02|09|11

Introduction

1.1 Ofcom has a duty to prepare a report for the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport explaining whether we consider the Channel 3 and Channel 5 broadcast licences should be renewed after 2014.

1.2 We are not required to submit that report to the Secretary of State until June 2012. However, as a step towards preparing a final document and as part of our annual work plan, in April we announced our plan to publish a paper in the latter half of the year outlining our approach to this work.

1.3 On 1 July 2011, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport asked Ofcom to provide the Secretary of State with advice about the options for relicensing Channel 3 and Channel 5.

1.4 In that request, a copy of which may be found at Annex 1, we were asked to include some specific points within the scope of our paper:

  • to set out all the options open to the Secretary of State in relation to the relicensing of Channel 3 and Channel 5;
  • to assess the benefits and implications of each of those options, including any decision by the Secretary of State to extend the current licences; and
  • to highlight any timing or process requirements associated with the options.

1.5 This paper, which replaces our planned document, is our response to the Secretary of State's request.