BBC signals defiant stance over Ofcom's regulatory ambition

The BBC has warned Ofcom not to interfere in the regulation of the Corporation in its response to the regulator's draft broadcasting codes.

In its submission, the BBC reiterated that it was for the BBC governors, not Ofcom, to regulate the accuracy of its programmes.

The complaint is seen as the BBC firing a shot across Ofcom's bows - the regulator has been accused of attempting to impinge on the BBC's regulatory powers since the Hutton Report was published earlier this year.

Relations between the two bodies were put under further pressure following last week's publication of Ofcom's plans for the future of public service broadcasting. One of the recommendations was to create a £300 million non-profit public service broadcaster to rival the BBC.

Stephen Carter, the Ofcom chief executive, suggested the broadcaster, which he called a public service publisher, could be funded by a licence fee, a tax on the commercial broadcasters or directly from government funds.

All of these funding mechanisms are politically sensitive and there is speculation a PSB will eventually be paid for by "top-slicing" the BBC licence fee, something it opposes.

- Forum, p10.

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