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  So is the TV watershed actually 9:07pm?...

Channel 5 reveals that it usually considers 9:07 as the watershed for strong language, and indeed gets in trouble with Ofcom for strong language at 9:04


Melon Farmers
Link Here 6th February 2017

cant payCan't Pay? We'll Take It Away!
Channel 5, 28 September 2016, 21:00

Can't Pay? We'll Take It Away! is an observational documentary series that follows the work of High Court Enforcement Agents ( HCEAs ).

Ofcom received three complaints about the frequent use of offensive language broadcast just after the watershed which, the complainants considered was not appropriate.

The pre-programme information provided by the continuity announcer referred to: 206highly offensive language in Can't Pay? We'll Take It Away! Then, following the sponsorship credit, a warning was shown with a voiceover stating: Be prepared for scenes of intense aggression and HIGHLY [emphasis in the original] offensive language from the very start and throughout, which may distress some viewers .

The first story in this episode, broadcast from 21:02, featured two HCEAs attempting to recover 5,000 from a man who requested that they should leave his property. From approximately 21:04, and for about three minutes, 15 instances of the most offensive language were used, which consisted of 14 instances of the word fuck (and variations of it) and one instance of the word cunt .

Ofcom considered Rule 1.6 of the Code:

The transmission to more adult material must not be unduly abrupt at the watershed206For television, the strongest material should appear later in the schedule.

Channel 5 explained that its usual approach to ensure compliance with Rule 1.6 was that there should be no offensive language broadcast in the first seven minutes of a programme broadcast at 21:00 to ensure that the transition to more adult material after the watershed was not too abrupt.

However, occasionally, and with regard to this particular episode, the Licensee explained that the editorial requirements of the programme meant that this position was varied. It said that it had permitted the offensive language on this occasion because without it, the severity and volatility of the situation and the difficulties experienced by the HCEAs in carrying out their duties would have been unclear and incomprehensible to viewers. Channel 5 said that its decision to include the most offensive language soon after the watershed was not taken lightly and that it had been referred up to the highest levels of Channel 5 .

Ofcom Decision: Breach of Rule 1.6

We acknowledged that there was a clear editorial context for the inclusion of the offensive language in the programme 203 to illustrate the type of challenging behaviour encountered by HCEAs in the course of their work. However, in Ofcom's view, this in itself did not provide sufficient editorial justification for this material to be broadcast at the very beginning of the programme soon after the watershed. We took the view that, even taking account of the editorial context and the strongly worded and voiced warning, it was still unlikely that viewers would have expected the frequent use of the most offensive language in an aggressive and confrontational manner at such a short time after the watershed on a public service channel like Channel 5.

We concluded that the programme was in breach of Rule 1.6.

 

  Cheaper than ATVOD...

Ofcom proposes to charge fees for Video on Demand censorship but will limit this to large companies only


Melon Farmers
Link Here 1st February 2017
Ofcom logoOn 1 January 2016, Video on Demand censor ATVOD was sacked and Ofcom became the sole regulator for on-demand programme services ( ODPS ) under Part 4A of the Communications Act 2003 (the Act ).

In this document, we are consulting on a new regulatory fees regime under section 368NA of the Act, to apply from the 2017/18 financial year onwards. Our preferred proposal is to adopt a fees structure that shares the costs of regulating ODPS only between the largest providers.

We have also provided an estimate of the 2017/18 fee that would be sufficient to meet, but not exceed, the likely cost of Ofcom carrying out the relevant functions in the financial year 2017/18.

Ofcom sets out what VoD companies had to pay under the year of ATVOD:

  • (a) ATVOD's estimated costs for the year were just over 487,000 and the fees collected were just over 488,000.
  • (b) The 40 largest ODPS providers each paid over 5,000 and accounted for over 93% of fees.
  • (c) ATVOD differentiated between those in the largest group, with the largest Super A providers paying 10,893 each for single outlet services and 14,135 for multiple outlet services (with a group cap available where there were multiple providers in one corporate group). A Rate providers paid 5,010 for single outlet services and 6,502 for multiple outlet services.
  • (d) None of the remaining 77 providers (the long tail ) paid more than 815, and 40 of these paid 204 or less. These providers accounted, in total, for under 7% of fees.

By contrast, Ofcom's estimate of estimated costs is 114,000 and this will be raised from Video on Demand companies as follows:

  • Companies with total turnover greater than 50 million: 4146
  • Companies with total turnover 10 to 50 million: 2073
  • Companies with total turnover less than 10 million: no charge

Ofcom noted that a proportionally smaller charge for the small companies may not be cost effective to collect and may discourage companies from registering for censorship either by illegal avoidance or by moving offshore.

A consultation on this preferred option and several others is open until 29th March 2017.

 

 Offsite Article: Demonstrating how close Ofcom is to being a government censor...


Link Here 20th January 2017
bill emmott Ex-Ofcom TV censor seeks judicial review over sacking by the government

See article from theguardian.com