Ofcom publishes draft TV licences for ‘no-deal Brexit’

By Heston Aniteye


On 22 February 2019, Ofcom took a step towards preparing for the possibility of a 'no-deal' Brexit by publishing draft television broadcast licences for new applicants from the day of exit. Ofcom has invited comments on the draft licences by 19 March 2019. Heston Aniteye provides an overview of the changes and the potential impact of a no-deal Brexit on the broadcasting regime in the UK.

The current regulatory position

Linear and on-demand video services are currently regulated by Ofcom in line with the EU wide regulatory framework set out by the Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD). The AVMSD is founded upon a ‘country of origin’ principle, which provides freedom of reception for linear and on-demand services across the EU, provided that the service complies with the law of the country with jurisdiction for it. The rules determining jurisdiction in the AVMSD are complex, but the key principle is that the service should ordinarily be regulated by the laws of the country where the service provider is established. Establishment is usually determined by factors such as the location of the provider’s head office and where key editorial staff are based.

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