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Articles about Ofcom

Locally great, globally useless

Published 27 February 2019

A decision has been made that makes Independent Local Radio less independent, less local and less good radio, says David Heathcote

Undermining BBC trust

Published 9 September 2013

BLOG: Looking deeper into the BBC Trust

Sold for Sky

Published 3 March 2011

Admit it to yourself, this isn’t a surprise even if you initially thought it was. It seemed obvious that Sky News was going to be the sacrificial lamb in a…

Who’s cheating who?

Published 21 February 2011

Ever feel that you’ve been had? Some viewers of BBC Three’s reality-cum-consumer advice show The Real Hustle might conceivably feel that they have been duped themselves with the revelation that…

A pragmatic stance?

Published 25 January 2011

There will no doubt be a lot of people looking at Jeremy Hunt today and drawing a lot of negative conclusions.

Sky low

Published 25 January 2011

I’m no particular fan of this present government. I’m hardly unique in this, but I’m still finding it hard to accept that we appear to have got both the furthest-to-the-right…

Sky writing

Published 22 November 2010

Want something to read that’s simultaneously both amusing and sinister at the same time? Then head over to the Sky website and download the PDF of BSkyB’s submission to Ofcom…

Spurned advances

Published 3 August 2010

If you were wondering what Virgin Media’s stance on Project Canvas development was going to be, then wonder no more, but Virgin Media’s objections are in the final analysis both…

Express takeover

Published 23 July 2010

Another chapter in Five’s turbulent history begins with Richard Desmond’s acquisition of Channel Five from RTL for £103.5m being finally confirmed today after months of negotiation (and speculation from the…

Freedom versus regulation

Published 13 July 2010

Some people still seem to think that the Jon Gaunt versus Ofcom case was all about freedom of speech, but the reality is that it basically related to the ability…

Ofcom consults on product placement

Published 28 June 2010

Sneaking out into the ether today (WHY NOT HAVE A PINT OF FOSTERS?) is the news that Ofcom (MY MATE, MARMITE) has launched a consultation on Product (TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO – FOR THE HOLIDAY OF A LIFE TIME) Placement in TV programmes and whether commercial messages can be (I JUST CAN’T GET ENOUGH OF THAT WONDERFUL DUFF!) integrated into radio programmes.

Copy protected

Published 14 June 2010

With the (perhaps unsurprising) announcement that Ofcom has now given the go-ahead for the BBC’s so-called Freeview anti-piracy technology, there’s a real danger that recording TV programmes for posterity could…

Saving local radio?

Published 15 April 2010

On 5 April 2010 Pennine FM became the latest in a list of smaller commercial radio stations to shut down and hand back its licence to Ofcom.

Sticky wicket

Published 31 March 2010

Ofcom: Delivering consumer benefits in Pay TV Ofcom orders Sky Sports price cut Football, cricket and rugby fans make up the core of BSkyB’s pay-TV business, and their willingness to…

Not the only game in town

Published 18 January 2010

Cost of TV sport to tumble as Ofcom turns screw on Sky Some people appear to be rather puzzled as to why the Conservatives in particular seem ambivalent towards Ofcom’s…

Bad idea to copy

Published 9 November 2009

BBC’s plea for anti-piracy measures on Freeview is turned down It seemed rather strange that the BBC of all broadcasters should suddenly propose something that could restrict an individual’s right…

Safe in their hands?

Published 29 August 2009

David Elstein: Murdoch “riled” by Ofcom According to David Elstein, formerly of, inter alia, the BBC, Thames and Channel 5, Ofcom’s “devastating” and “unanswerable” report of a couple of months…

Lies, damned lies and Ofcom

Published 10 August 2009

Coverage of the data presented in Ofcom’s Communications Market Report indicates that many correspondents are not at their best when dealing with statistics. But Ofcom themselves don’t make it particularly easy to do anything other than misinterpret the data.

Off the rails

Published 3 July 2009

ITN newsreader Alastair Stewart calls for ‘Beeching’ inquiry into BBC Weirdly misappropriate-yet-somehow-highly-appropriate analogy of the month: TV presenter demands inquiry that results in major cutbacks based on short-term desires which…

Mostly meaningless

Published 21 May 2009

Ed Richards warns against setting ‘meaningless’ radio switchoff date Today’s Radio 3.0 conference in London seems to have basically regurgitated the usual set of proclamations along with a few announcements…

For local news, switch to BBC One

Published 28 April 2009

Ofcom head Ed Richards sounds death knell for ITV regional news Yes we know that the media industry is going through hell at the moment – and this is particularly…

Five Down – 45 To Go

Published 17 April 2009

Fifty radio stations “could close” apparently. Well so far this year alone, we’re on five, following the closure of Pennine FM in Huddersfield just yesterday.

Closing the gate

Published 3 April 2009

BBC fined £150,000 over Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross phone prank scandal ‘Sachsgate’ was basically the culmination of what can happen when star talent who have their own production company…

Confidence trick

Published 17 February 2009

Commercial radio could launch new digital stations if regulation is eased So what has the RadioCentre got up its sleeve to save DAB from the jaws of possible obsolescence/apathy caused…

Stepwise migration

Published 29 January 2009

digital britain – interim report: Government outlines plans for UK’s digital transition Today saw the publication of (Lord) Stephen Carter’s interim report entitled “Digital Britain”, which in one sense is…

What happens to Teletext?

Published 23 January 2009

The fall out of the recent Ofcom report into the future of commercial public service broadcasting continues, with The Guardian reporting that Ofcom are not aren’t convinced that there will need to be a separate Teletext franchise going forward.

Dave to the rescue?

Published 22 January 2009

BBC and Channel 4 in talks to buy Virgin Media’s UKTV stake If the BBC and Channel 4 can join forces to purchase Virgin Media’s UKTV stake, then this not…

Public argument

Published 21 January 2009

BBC licence fee ‘digital surplus’ could help fund new PSB body, says Ofcom Ofcom: Report summary plus links to full versions Now that the long-awaited report from Ofcom has finally…

Closing the stable door

Published 16 January 2009

ITV fined £220,000 by Ofcom over regional quotas It has taken Ofcom a year to punish ITV for a regional programming expenditure shortfall in 2007 (likewise a two year delay…

Wiser counsels prevail

Published 8 December 2008

BBC News: Clarkson joke cleared by watchdog Joking about truck… sorry, lorry drivers killing prostitutes was bound to offend some people. The murder by Steve Wright, a lorry driver, of…

Public or private?

Published 26 November 2008

Government ditches plans to give Channel 4 £14m digital switchover help So the Government has decided rather tacitly to withdraw the earlier digital switchover help proposed for Channel 4 in…

Command failure

Published 7 November 2008

Radio 2’s Dave Barber resigns ahead of on-air apology for Brand-Ross calls Apologies in advance for mentioning the ‘S’ word again, but I’ll try to keep it relatively brief this…

On the sidelines

Published 6 November 2008

UTV criticises Channel 4 for backing out of digital radio project It may be true that if Channel 4 Radio had been up and running two years ago it could…

Desperate measures

Published 3 November 2008

Lyons may regret speaking out as regional publishers call in lawyers Newspaper Society Press Release Based on a comment made by Sir Michael Lyons that slightly hinted that he might…

The wrong message

Published 28 October 2008

Gordon Brown criticises Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross’s BBC phone prank The transcript of what was said What started out as a “schoolboy prank” (except of course neither participants are…

The future according to ITV

Published 17 October 2008

ITV, Channel 4 and BBC to launch HD channels on Freeview next year We’re told that the future of broadcasting is high definition, yet ITV’s HD proposal for Freeview contains…

Future lessons from the past

Published 13 October 2008

As someone who remains of the opinion that what the British Government did in the years 1945-51 to establish major post-war institutions (despite the country being nearly bankrupt) was brilliant…

A predictable outcome

Published 25 September 2008

NUJ warns of 500 ITV job cuts It’s no surprise whatsoever to learn that Ofcom has ‘bought’ the economic arguments put forward by ITV plc in its determination to cut…

Junk regulation

Published 19 September 2008

Kids still exposed to bad food ads The government decided that TV adverts featuring so-called ‘junk food’ which are shown during children’s programmes are a bad idea, so it (and…

Pack away the hamper – the Picnic isn’t happening

Published 12 September 2008

It’s been hanging around for goodness knows how long, but finally BSkyB have done the inevitable, and axed its pay TV proposals for DTT.

Lunch has been served

Published 12 September 2008

BSkyB job losses expected as Picnic is axed Whilst the news of BSkyB abandoning their Picnic terrestrial pay-TV project isn’t that surprising in itself, the official reason given for its…

Eternal optimism

Published 25 August 2008

All that glitters is not gold (Peter Fincham’s Edinburgh Television Festival speech) Now that the MediaGuardian Edinburgh International Television Festival is over, what can we learn from what happened there,…

It’s a long way down

Published 7 August 2008

Viewpoint: Ofcom is key player in ITV drama So Michael Grade is threatening to hand back ITV plc’s Channel 3 regional licences since it’s now claimed that under the current…

Easy options

Published 28 July 2008

Plans for reduced public service role are good news for ITV Despite much talk of ‘radical’ solutions being required for the “digital age” – whatever that is, although for the…

Slowly does it

Published 25 July 2008

ukfree.tv: Why Freesat did not launch with 230 channels At the moment this story has only appeared on one website as well as being fairly one-sided (there’s no rebuttal from…

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