Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Disney+, among other streaming services, will face new regulations by Ofcom.
Streaming services in the UK have previously been running wild and free without regulations but things are about to change after a government proposal to “level out the playing field.”
Only BBC iPlayer is currently facing the same regulations as TV channels. Channels have been campaigning for years for streaming services to face the same regulations but it’s only now that the government is proposing changes.
Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries described UK’s TV and radio industry an “envy of the world”.
She went on to say: “Set against the backdrop of the digital transformation of our viewing habits, today’s plans will revamp decades-old laws to help our public service broadcasters compete in the internet age.”
Ofcom’s Broadcasting Code sets out and ensures “appropriate standards for content including harmful or offensive material, accuracy, fairness and privacy.” The document also states that Ofcom would have the power to draft an entirely new code to include streaming services. This could potentially mean stricter policies.
The document also raises the issue of accessibility of these services. While most services already have subtitle options, signing and audio description options are rarely available. “…we are working with Ofcom to develop legislative proposals to address the divergence in provision of access services between broadcast and on demand services,” the document states.