Sci Fi in breach over Virgin ad invasion

By Julian Clover

Sci Fi has been found to be in “serious and significant” breach of its licence conditions after the NBC Universal-owned channel failed to produce a recording of its output.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) received a viewer complaint over the volume levels of a commercial broadcast on its Virgin Media feed when compared to those placed adjacent to it. The ASA brought in Ofcom when Sci Fi admitted it did not have a recording of the issue, putting it in breach of Licence Condition 11, requiring broadcasters to retain a recording of their output for up to 60 days after transmission.

Sci-Fi has apologised to the regulator, explaining that Virgin itself had inserted the Virgin Media advertisement, having received contractual assurances from Virgin Media that its insertions into the broadcast feed would be fully compliant with regulatory requirements.

However, Ofcom says it is a licence requirement that broadcasters retain a copy of the output of all versions that are broadcast, whatever the platform.