Guidance for Public Service Broadcasters in drawing up Codes of Practice for commissioning from independent producers
- Section 285 of the Communications Act requires Public Service Broadcasters (“PSBs”) to have in place Codes of Practice for commissioning from independent producers which have been approved by Ofcom. Section 285 also requires Ofcom to have in place Guidance to assist PSBs in drawing up Codes.
- Ofcom’s original Guidance (from December 2003) identified that new media rights and issues in relation to exclusivity and the duration of rights packages would need to be revisited in due course.
- In the course of Ofcom’s review of the Television Production Sector (“TPSR”) in 2005 both PSBs and producers highlighted to Ofcom that the area of new media rights in particular needed to be revisited.
- The TPSR consultation document in 2006 set PSBs and producers the challenge of developing a new framework to accommodate new media issues or else Ofcom would be required to step in.
- PSBs and producers have reached Heads of Agreement on terms for the exploitation of new media rights.
- In order to ensure that the Guidance remained relevant for PSBs in drawing up new Codes of Practice, Ofcom consulted on proposed modifications to its Guidance to take into account these developments.
- Ofcom has taken into account the responses to the consultation and is now issuing its revised Guidance. Ofcom’s revised Guidance for PSBs in drawing up Codes of Practice for commissioning from independent producers is set out as an Annex to this statement.
- Now that the new Guidance is in place, it is up to the PSBs to submit revised Codes of Practice which comply with the Guidance for Ofcom to approve.
The full document is available below