ITC to extend masthead programming to terrestrial channels

- Masthead programmes are to be allowed on the UK's commercial terrestrial TV channels following a one year trial on satellite and cable.

- Masthead programmes are to be allowed on the UK's commercial terrestrial TV channels following a one year trial on satellite and cable.

The new rules, which should be in place by September of this year, will allow magazine publishers to develop television programmes based on their publications and carrying their name to run on terrestrial channels 3, 4 and 5.

Over the last year, the trial on satellite and cable has resulted in such programmes as the Good Housekeeping Show, a spin-off of the National Magazine title which has been running on Granada Sky Broadcasting.

However, to ensure that further the expansion of masthead programmes does not blur the distinction between editorial content and advertising the Independent Television Commission is proposing to strengthen its rules.

These new rules will specify that programmes may not be a television version of current editions of the parent publication, and that similarities in editorial content must be confined to general subject matter.

It also proposes tighter rules on oral and visual references within the programme to the title and a prohibition on references to the parent publication or articles within it.

Frank Willis director of advertising and sponsorship at the ITC, said: "Although there have not been many examples of masthead programming on cable and satellite channels over the past year, they do indicate that, with effective regulation, it is possible to create 'magazine programmes' which do not conflict with ITC rules. We believe that, with strengthened regulation in this area, the current distinction between terrestrial and non-terrestrial services does not need to be maintained."





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