DCMS Select Committee publishes its Final Report on the draft Media Bill

United Kingdom

The DCMS Select Committee (the “Committee”) published its Final Report on the draft Media Bill (the “Bill”) on 22 September 2023, in which the Committee called on the Government to make several significant changes to the Bill.

Among the Committee’s key recommendations are the following:

  • public sector broadcasters’ designated content and services to be given ‘significant’ rather than ‘appropriate’ prominence on regulated television selection services (e.g. popular smart TVs);
  • the new Video-on-Demand (“VoD”) code should apply to all VoD platforms, rather than only the so-called ‘Tier 1 services’ (i.e. those VoD services with large UK audiences); and
  • the Bill should close the ‘streaming loophole’ that allows an unregulated streaming service to buy the rights for a listed event and put them behind a paywall.

The Chair of the Committee, Dame Caroline Dinenage MP, called for the Bill to be included in the forthcoming King’s Speech and said: “It is vital that the Government prioritises the legislation in the upcoming fourth session of this Parliament.”

The report follows the Committee’s July report on the provisions in the draft Media Bill relating to radio, which you can read about here.

Look out for our detailed analysis of each part of Final Report, which will be published on the Media Bill Tracker soon.