As of 1 January, ATVOD has been disbanded and Ofcom is now the sole UK regulator for On Demand Programme Services. This follows a torrid couple of years for ATVOD, in which several of its decisions have been overturned on appeal to Ofcom.
The statutory framework for regulating On Demand Programme Services remains the same under the Communications Act 2003 and Ofcom has not been given additional functions as a result of the new arrangements. Nevertheless, as part of the change, published materials have been updated to reflect that the co-regulator regime between ATVOD and Ofcom has ended.
Ofcom has published a consultation document explaining how it will regulate editorial content on On Demand Programme Services going forward. This document also invites opinions on Ofcom’s proposal to issue new procedures for investigating breaches of rules for On Demand Programme Services, aligning them with established procedures for linear television broadcasting, as well as its proposal not to charge fees under section 268NA of the Act. Ofcom invites responses to the issues raised in its consultation by 1 March 2016. The regulator intends to publish a statement in March or April 2016.