Television Act 1964


Television Act 1964

1964 CHAPTER 21

An Act to consolidate the Television Acts 1954 and 1963.

[25th March 1964]

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:—

The Independent Television Authority

The Independent Television Authority

S-1 Constitution and functions of Authority.

1 Constitution and functions of Authority.

(1) There shall be an authority, to be called the Independent Television Authority (in this Act referred to as ‘the Authority’) which shall consist of a Chairman, a Deputy Chairman and such other members, not being less than five, as the Postmaster General may from time to time determine:

Provided that unless and until the Postmaster General otherwise determines by notice in writing to the Authority, a copy of which shall be laid before each House of Parliament, the number of the said other members shall be eight.

(2) The provisions of Schedule 1 to this Act (which relate to the appointment and remuneration of members of the Authority and to the procedure of and other similar matters concerning the Authority) shall have effect with respect to the Authority.

(3) The function of the Authority shall be to provide, in accordance with the provisions of this Act, and until 31st July 1976, television broadcasting services, additional to those of the British Broadcasting Corporation and of high quality, both as to the transmission and as to the matter transmitted, for so much of the United Kingdom, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands as may from time to time be reasonably practicable.

(4) It shall be the duty of the Authority—

(a ) to provide the television broadcasting services as a public service for disseminating information, education and entertainment;

(b ) to ensure that the programmes broadcast by the Authority in each area maintain a high general standard in all respects, and in particular in respect of their content and quality, and a proper balance and wide range in their subject-matter, having regard both to the programmes as a whole and also to the days of the week on which, and the times of the day at which, the programmes are broadcast; and

(c ) to secure a wide showing for programmes of merit.

(5) Without prejudice to the powers conferred on the Authority by this Act, the programmes broadcast by the Authority shall, so far as may be consistently with the observance of the requirements of this Act, be provided not by the Authority but by persons (hereafter in this Act referred to as ‘programme contractors’) who, under contracts with the Authority, have, in consideration of payments to the Authority and subject to the provisions of this Act, the right and the duty to provide programmes or parts of programmes to be broadcast by the Authority, which may include advertisements.

(6) It is hereby declared that the Authority are not to be treated for the purposes of the enactments and rules of law relating to the privileges of the Crown as a body exercising functions on behalf of the Crown.

S-2 Powers of Authority.

2 Powers of Authority.

(1) The Authority shall, subject to the provisions of this Act, have power to do all such things as are in their opinion necessary for or conducive to the proper discharge of their function as described in section 1(3) of this Act, and, in particular and without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing provision, they shall for the purpose of discharging that function have power—

(a ) to establish, install and use stations for wireless telegraphy;

(b ) to arrange for the provision and equipment of, or, if need be, themselves to provide and equip, studios and other premises for television broadcasting purposes;

(c ) by arrangements made for the purpose with the Postmaster General and persons carrying on broadcast relay stations, to provide for the distribution from broadcast relay stations of programmes broadcast by the Authority.

(2) Notwithstanding section 1(5) of this Act the Authority may—

(a ) arrange for the provision of parts of programmes otherwise than by programme contractors for the purpose of securing the inclusion in the programmes broadcast by the Authority of items of particular classes which in their opinion are necessary for securing a proper balance in the subject-matter of the programmes and cannot, or cannot as suitably, be provided by programme contractors;

(b ) apart from the provision of such items, arrange for the provision (by programme contractors or otherwise) of, or (if need be) themselves provide, programmes or parts of programmes so far as may be necessary by reason of any temporary lack of suitable persons able and willing to become or continue as programme contractors on suitable terms and to perform their obligations as such, or by reason of any interval between the expiration or termination of one contract with a programme contractor and the commencement of another contract with that or another programme contractor; and

(c ) with the consent of the Postmaster General, arrange for the provision, otherwise than by programme contractors, of educational broadcasting services of an experimental nature to be broadcast in addition to educational programmes provided for the purpose of the public service referred to in section 1(4)(a ) of this Act by programme contractors,

and may, for the purpose of so providing programmes or parts of programmes or putting themselves into a position to do so if necessity arises, make such arrangements for obtaining the necessary material, enter into such contracts, employ such persons, acquire such property and do such things as may appear to them to be necessary or expedient.

(3) Without prejudice to the generality of the preceding provisions of this section, the powers of the Authority shall extend to the carrying on of such businesses and the doing of such things as arise out of the other activities of the Authority or are necessary or expedient for the purpose of turning to account any property or rights of the Authority.

(4) Notwithstanding anything in this section the Authority shall not carry on business as sellers of, or, except with the approval of the Postmaster General, themselves engage in the manufacture or sale of, apparatus for wireless telegraphy or any other telegraphic equipment.

(5) Notwithstanding anything in this section, the Authority shall not have power to provide broadcasting services other than television services or (except as provided by this section) to acquire any exclusive or other rights in respect of the broadcasting of any matters in sound only:

Provided that nothing in this subsection shall be construed as precluding the inclusion in any programme broadcast by the Authority of matter transmitted in sound only—

(a ) by way of relays of any of the British Broadcasting Corporation's party political broadcasts which is so transmitted;

(b ) in compliance with a notice given to the Authority under section 18(1) of this Act; or

(c ) by way of news items, announcements or other items incidental or ancillary to the television services provided by the Authority,

or the acquisition by the Authority of rights in respect of any matter to be so transmitted.

(6) Nothing in this section shall be construed as authorising the Authority to do, otherwise than under and in accordance with a licence under section 1 of the Wireless Telegraphy Act 1949 or section 5 of the Telegraph Act 1869, anything for the doing of which such a licence is requisite under those Acts respectively, and those Acts shall have effect in relation to the Authority accordingly.

Provisions applying to all programmes

Provisions applying to all programmes

S-3 General provisions with respect to content of programmes.

3 General provisions with respect to content of programmes.

(1) It shall be the duty of the Authority to satisfy themselves that, so far as possible, the programmes broadcast by the Authority comply with the following requirements, that is to say—

(a ) that nothing is included in the programmes which offends against good taste or decency or is likely to encourage or incite to crime or to lead to disorder or to be offensive to public feeling;

(b ) that a sufficient amount of time in the programmes is given to news and news features and that all news given in the programmes (in whatever form) is presented with due accuracy and impartiality;

(c ) that proper proportions of the recorded and other matter included in the programmes are of British origin and of British performance;

(d ) that the programmes broadcast from any station or stations contain a suitable proportion of matter calculated to appeal specially to the tastes and outlook of persons served by the station or stations and, where another language as well as English is in common use among those so served, a suitable proportion of matter in that language; and

(e ) that due impartiality is preserved on the part of the persons providing the programmes as respects matters of political or industrial controversy or relating to current public policy.

In applying paragraph (e ) of this subsection, a series of programmes may be considered as a whole.

(2) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1) of this section, it shall be the duty of the Authority to secure the exclusion from the programmes broadcast by them of all expressions of their own opinion as to any of the matters referred to in paragraph (e ) of that subsection, or of the opinion as to any such matters—

(a ) of any of their members or officers, or

(b ) of any programme contractor, or

(c ) in the case of a programme contractor being a firm, of any partner therein, or

(d ) in the case of a programme contractor being a body corporate, of any director or officer thereof or...

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