Tony Hall, the BBC's director general, has repeated his call for global streaming companies, Netflix and Amazon to suffer the same censorship as the UK's traditional broadcasters -- or else risk killing off distinctive British content. He said to
the Royal Television Society's London conference:
It cannot be right that the UK's media industry is competing against global giants with one hand tied behind its back.
In so many ways -- prominence, competition rules, advertising, taxation, content regulation, terms of trade, production quotas -- one set of rules applies to UK companies, and barely any apply to the new giants. That needs rebalancing, too. We
stand ready to help, where we can.
Hall will use the speech to warn that young British audiences now spend almost as much time watching Netflix -- which only launched its UK streaming service in 2012 -- as watching BBC television and iPlayer combined.
Citing Ofcom figures, Hall warned that Britain's public service broadcasters have cut spending on content in real terms by around £1bn since 2004. He said that global streaming companies are not spending enough on British productions to make up
the difference, while their UK-based productions tend to focus on material which has a global appeal rather than a distinctly British flavour. Hall added:
This isn't just an issue for us economically, commercially or as institutions. There is an impact on society. The content we produce is not an ordinary consumer good. It helps shape our society. It brings people together, it helps us understand
each other and share a common national story.
Following an investigation, Ofcom has revoked the broadcast licence held by Ausaf UK Limited for Ausaf TV, a channel which was intended to serve the Pakistani community in the UK, but had not started broadcasting at the time of Ofcom's decision.
In line with our ongoing duty under the Broadcasting Act 1990, Ofcom opened an investigation into the licensee about whether those in control were 'fit and proper' to hold the licence.
After carefully considering all available evidence, including oral representations made by the licensee, our investigation concluded that:
the individual in control of Ausaf UK Limited had close links to the Pakistan and UK editions of the Daily Ausaf newspaper, in which articles were published which we considered amounted to hate speech and incitement to crime/terrorist actions;
the licensee provided misleading or false information about the links between the Daily Ausaf and Ausaf UK Limited during the course of our investigation; and
there is a material risk that the licensee could breach our broadcasting rules; for example, by airing similar content to that published in the Daily Ausaf on Ausaf TV, which would be harmful to viewers if the licensee were permitted to
this brings into question public confidence in the regulatory activity if Ofcom were to remain satisfied that the licensee was fit and proper to broadcast.
In light of these serious findings, we are no longer satisfied that that those in control of Ausaf UK Limited are fit and proper to hold a broadcast licence. We have therefore revoked the licence.
The channel had not started broadcasting, and it will now be prevented from doing so.
More than 11,000 complaints have been made to TV censor Ofcom about the Celebrity Big Brother punching episode. In Thursday's episode, Ryan Thomas was given a warning for punching fellow housemate Roxanne Pallett.
The former Corrie star said there was no anger or malice in what happened after Roxanne complained to the show's producers about his behaviour. Big Brother bosses issued him with a formal warning for physical contact.
Ofcom said it had received 11,215 complaints about the episode, saying:
We are assessing these complaints against our broadcasting rules, before deciding whether or not to investigate.
Bob FM is a local commercial radio service for Hertford and its surrounding areas. The station's output consists of music and information aimed at listeners aged between 25 and 54.
We received a complaint about a segment broadcast during the station's daily breakfast programme, during which the presenter took call from a listener who identified the location of a vehicle with a mobile speed camera.
The listener described the person conducting the speed checks as a scumbag and said he was sat there like a little maggot. The presenter then said that this person was:
In the back of a van, catching hard-working, tax-paying people who are on their way to work206to earn their living, to take their place in society, to make a bit of a difference, to you know, help the economy of this country so they can earn a
living to put a roof over their head and pay taxes. Those are the people that this maggot
Ofcom consider Rule 2.3 of the Code:
In applying generally accepted standards, broadcasters must ensure that material which may cause offence is justified by the context... Such material may include offensive language...[or] discriminatory treatment or language
The Licensee said that the language used was provocative and designed to be entertaining while empathising with listeners' frustration. It added that there was no assertion that the person in the speed camera van was a police officer or whether
the van was unmanned.
This two-minute segment called into question the actions of speed camera operators and their motivation for carrying out this function. The item contained six uses of the word maggot, two uses of the word maggotwatch and one use of the word
scumbag to describe people who operate mobile speed cameras. The presenter and caller criticised their work, saying that its purpose was to generate revenue and that it caught innocent people.
In Ofcom's view, the language used in this segment was critical and derogatory and had the potential to cause offence. We took into account the Licensee's argument that there was no assertion that the people operating the speed cameras were
police officers. However, in our view, listeners were likely to have understood the criticism as being directed at police officers in speed camera vehicles. We considered that this heightened the potential for offence. We also took into account
the Licensee's submission that children were unlikely to be in the audience. However, our concern in this case was the potential offence to the audience generally rather than just children
Our Decision is that the offence caused by this segment was not justified by the context and in breach of Rule 2.3.
The BBC no longer wants TV shows in which white, middle-aged men stand up and explain things, according to one of the corporation's senior executives.
Programmes that feature individual presenters imparting their knowledge of a subject to viewers are too static and no longer excite audiences, Cassian Harrison, editor of BBC Four, told the Edinburgh Television Festival yesterday
He said controllers of other channels, including BBC Two, had also taken against the outdated presenting format. There's a mode of programming that involves a presenter, usually white, middle-aged and male, standing on a hill and 'telling you
like it is'. We all recognise the era of that has passed.