IPA calls for single regulator to assess changing TV times

The BBC should be subjected to the same economic regulations as commercial television channels, the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising urged this week.

The BBC should be subjected to the same economic regulations as

commercial television channels, the Institute of Practitioners in

Advertising urged this week.



The IPA believes that the commercial activities of both the BBC and

commercial channels should be regulated by the same watchdog body in a

bid to ensure a level economic playing field.



The plea comes in response to the Government’s green paper on regulating

communications. The deadline for comments passed at the beginning of

this week.



At the same time, the IPA is urging the Government to introduce a

legally binding remit for the BBC to provide a broad range and quality

of programming that would not be produced by the commercial sector.



And now that the BBC has launched its own digital TV channels, the IPA

wants to ensure that the BBC and commercial terrestrial channels’

digital investments do not adversely affect the quality of the analogue

services.



Jim Marshall, the IPA spokesman on the future of television, said: ’In

the future the introduction of subscription and pay-per-view services

will make it harder for the free-to-air services to compete. There’s a

danger that a two-tier TV system is created, one for the haves, who can

afford to pay more for their TV programming, and one for the

have-nots.’



For the commercial TV channels, the IPA is keen to maintain the existing

Independent Television Commission guards against concentration of

ownership and anti-competitive sales practices.



In the radio arena, the IPA is calling for an update of the current

ownership and licensing regimes under a separate, economic regulator.



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