Ofcom in favour of BBC in ATVOD ruling appeal

Editor | 19-01-2013

The UK broadcast regulator Ofcom has ruled in favour of the BBC in relation to two decisions by the Authority for Television On Demand (ATVOD) regarding BBC Worldwide’s Top Gear and BBC Food YouTube programmes.

ATVOD, the body responsible for regulating the editorial content of certain on-demand programmes services in the UK, had determined on 3 May 2011 that the channels were each on-demand programme services, therefore subject to regulation under Part 4A of the UK Communications Act 2003 and liable to pay a fee like all such services.

BBC Worldwide Limited appealed these decisions on 12 May 2011, and over 18 months later, Ofcom, as the appeal body for ATVOD decisions, found in the BBC’s favour, deciding that the services did not fall within the scope of ATVOD regulation.

The regulator defines a service is an on-demand programme service (ODPS) if its principal purpose is the provision of programmes, the form and content of which are comparable to the form and content of programmes normally included in television programme services. Ofcom’s view was that the BBC programmes in question were not comparable in form and content to television programmes normally found on linear television.