Broadcasting Act 1996

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation1996 c. 55


Broadcasting Act 1996

1996 CHAPTER 55

An Act to make new provision about the broadcasting in digital form of television and sound programme services and the broadcasting in that form on television or radio frequencies of other services to amend the Broadcasting Act 1990 to make provision about rights to televise sporting or other events of national interest to amend in other respects the law relating to the provision of television and sound programme services to provide for the establishment and functions of a Broadcasting Stan dards Commission and for the dissolution of the Broadcasting Complaints Commission and the Broadcasting Standards Council to make provision for the transfer to other persons of property, rights and liabilities of the British Broadcasting Corporation relating to their transmission network and for connected purposes.

[24th July 1996]

Be it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:

I Digital Terrestrial Television Broadcasting

Part I

Digital Terrestrial Television Broadcasting

Introductory

Introductory

S-1 Multiplex services and digital programme services.

1 Multiplex services and digital programme services.

(1) In this Part ‘multiplex service’ means a service provided by any person which consists in the broadcasting for general reception of two or more services specified in subsection (3) by combining the relevant information in digital form, together with any broadcasting in digital form of digital additional services (as defined by section 24(1)).

(2) A service in respect of which a licence under section 7 is in force is not prevented from being a multiplex service at a particular time merely because only one service specified in subsection (3) is being broadcast in digital form at that time.

(3) The services referred to in subsections (1) and (2) are—

(a) a digital programme service (as defined by subsection (4)), or

(b) a qualifying service (as defined by section 2(2)).

(4) In this Part ‘digital programme service’ means a service consisting in the provision by any person of television programmes (together with any ancillary services, as defined by section 24(2)) with a view to their being broadcast in digital form for general reception, whether by him or by some other person, but does not include—

(a) a qualifying service,

(b) a teletext service, or

(c) any service in the case of which the visual images to be broadcast do not consist wholly or mainly of images capable of being seen as moving pictures,

except, in the case of a service falling within paragraph (b) or (c), to the extent that it is an ancillary service.

(5) The Secretary of State may, if having regard to developments in broadcasting technology he considers it appropriate to do so, by order amend the definition of ‘digital programme service’ in subsection (4).

(6) No order under subsection (5) shall be made unless a draft of the order has been laid before and approved by a resolution of each House of Parliament.

(7) In this section—

‘broadcast’ means broadcast otherwise than—

(a) by satellite, or

(b) in the provision of a local delivery service (as defined by section 72(1) of the 1990 Act), and

‘for general reception’ means for general reception in, or in any area in, the United Kingdom.

S-2 Meaning of ‘independent analogue broadcaster’ and ‘qualifying service’.

2 Meaning of ‘independent analogue broadcaster’ and ‘qualifying service’.

(1) In this Part ‘independent analogue broadcaster’ means—

(a) the Channel Four Television Corporation,

(b) the Welsh Authority,

(c) any person who holds a Channel 3 licence or a Channel 5 licence, or

(d) the public teletext provider.

(2) Subject to subsections (4) and (5), in this Part ‘qualifying service’ means any service which—

(a) is provided by an independent analogue broadcaster falling within paragraph (a) or (c) of subsection (1) who has notified the Commission, within the period of one month beginning with the commencement of this section, of his intention to provide a service specified in subsection (3) (‘the corresponding analogue service’) for broadcasting in digital form, and

(b) as respects the programmes included in the service and the times at which they are broadcast, is identical with the corresponding analogue service.

(3) The services referred to in subsection (2) are—

(a) Channel 4, and

(b) any Channel 3 service or Channel 5.

(4) If the Welsh Authority notify the Commission, within the period of one month beginning with the commencement of this section, of their intention to provide S4C Digital, S4C Digital shall be a qualifying service for the purposes of this Part.

(5) If—

(a) the public teletext provider notifies the Commission, within the period of one month beginning with the commencement of this section, of his intention to provide a teletext service for broadcasting in digital form, and

(b) the Commission consent under section 30 to his provision of that service,

that service (in this Part referred to as ‘the qualifying teletext service’) shall be a qualifying service for the purposes of this Part.

(6) In this Part ‘public teletext provider’ means the person who holds the additional services licence (within the meaning of Part I of the 1990 Act) which relates to the teletext service referred to in section 49(2) of that Act.

(7) In subsection (2) ‘programme’ does not include an advertisement.

General provisions about licences

General provisions about licences

S-3 Licences under Part I.

3 Licences under Part I.

(1) Any licence granted by the Independent Television Commission (in this Part referred to as ‘the Commission’) under this Part shall be in writing and (subject to the provisions of this Part) shall continue in force for such period as is provided, in relation to a licence of the kind in question, by the relevant provision of this Part.

(2) A licence may be so granted for the provision of such a service as is specified in the licence or for the provision of a service of such a desc ription as is so specified.

(3) The Commission—

(a) shall not grant a licence to any person unless they are satisfied that he is a fit and proper person to hold it, and

(b) shall do all that they can to secure that, if they cease to be so satisfied in the case of any person holding a licence, that person does not remain the holder of the licence

and nothing in this Part shall be construed as affecting the operation of this subsection or of section 5(1) or (2)(b) or (c).

(4) The Commission may vary a licence by a notice served on the licence holder if—

(a) in the case of a variation of the period for which a licence having effect for a specified period is to continue in force, the licence holder consents, or

(b) in the case of any other variation, the licence holder has been given a reasonable opportunity of making representations to the Commission about the variation.

(5) Paragraph (a) of subsection (4) does not affect the operation of section 17(1)(b) and that subsection shall not authorise the variation of any conditions included in a licence in pursuance of section 13(1).

(6) A licence granted to any person under this Part shall not be transferable to any other person without the previous consent in writing of the Commission.

(7) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (6), the Commission shall not give their consent for the purposes of that subsection unless they are satisfied that any such other person would be in a position to comply with all of the conditions included in the licence which would have effect during the period for which it is to be in force.

(8) The holding by any person of a licence to provide any service shall not relieve him of any requirement to hold a licence under section 1 of the Wireless Telegraphy Act 1949 or section 7 of the Telecommunications Act 1984 in connection with the provision of that service.

S-4 General licence conditions.

4 General licence conditions.

(1) A licence may include—

(a) such conditions as appear to the Commission to be appropriate having regard to any duties which are or may be imposed on them, or on the licence holder, by or under the 1990 Act or this Act

(b) conditions requiring the payment by the licence holder to the Commission (whether on the grant of the licence or at such times thereafter as may be determined by or under the licence, or both) of a fee or fees of an amount or amounts so determined

(c) conditions requiring the licence holder to provide the Commission, in such manner and at such times as they may reasonably require, with such information as they may require for the purpose of exercising the functions assigned to them by or under the 1990 Act or this Act

(d) conditions providing for such incidental and supplemental matters as appear to the Commission to be appropriate.

(2) A licence may in particular include conditions requiring the licence holder—

(a) to comply with any direction given by the Commission as to such matters as are specified in the licence or are of a description so specified, or

(b) (except to the extent that the Commission...

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