UK Broadcast Regulator Moots Cross-Promo Changes

08 December 2005

UK media and telecoms watchdog Ofcom has announced its proposals for a review of broadcasting cross-promotion regulations.

The new rules, the consultation period for which ends on 17 February, will deregulate some areas and tighten-up others.

A key proposal on Ofcom's table is abolishing the rule that requires a broadcast channel to have a minumum 30% shareholding in the service it is promoting. This would be replaced by a more flexible approach. The watchdog also moots axing the 20-second time limit for promotions during programme breaks.

The regulator, however, is insistent that all UK terrestrial broadcasters remain neutral in the promotion of digital television, not favouring one platform over another.

Ofcom, which currently has no jurisdiction over the publicly-funded BBC's cross-promotional activities, believes the broadcaster should adhere to the same rules in this area as its commercial rivals.

It also proposes that all TV broadcasters "limit the subject of cross-promotions to broadcasting related services [thereby protecting] consumers from promotions that provide no benefit to their viewing experience and might resemble advertising".

Data sourced from; additional content by WARC staff