Streaming giants face tighter UK regulation, plans to privatise Channel 4

Streaming giants face tighter UK regulation, plans to privatise Channel 4

Streaming giants face tighter UK regulation, plans to privatise Channel 4

The likes of Netflix, Amazon Prime and Disney+ might be facing tighter regulation under the UK government’s proposal. 

Traditional broadcasters have to comply with Ofcom’s code covering issues like harm, offence, accuracy and impartiality. But most streaming services do not. 

The government will review whether to strengthen the rules. 

Channel 4 privatisation threat as ministers launch review of broadcast rules
Channel 4 privatisation threat as ministers launch review of broadcast rules

At the moment, the only streaming platform that must follow Ofcom’s broadcasting code is the BBC iPlayer. The regulator can issue fines and suspend licences if the rules are broken. 

There are separate rules regulating incitement to hatred and other “harmful material” apply to streaming services with head and editorial offices in the UK – which include Amazon Prime and Disney+ but not Netflix. 

“Netflix is based in the Netherlands and therefore not within Ofcom’s jurisdiction” according to the Ofcom website. 

In Wednesday’s announcement, the government said there was currently an “inconsistent, ad-hoc and potentially harmful gap in regulation”.

Ministers have also confirmed a consultation into whether to privatise Channel 4 – the publicly-owned, advert funded channel. 

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