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Draft Media Bill: DCMS Committee launches pre-legislative scrutiny

19 April 2023

The DCMS Committee is inviting views on a draft Bill aimed at modernising broadcasting legislation to help public service broadcasters meet the challenges created by the growth of on-demand services and new technology.

The Government’s draft Media Bill, published last month, would broaden how broadcasters can meet their public service obligations and bring some platforms under stricter regulatory control.

During its pre-legislative scrutiny, the Committee will examine the policy objectives of the Bill, identify any unintended consequences of the legislation and make recommendations on how the Bill might be improved.

Chair's comments

Julian Knight MP, Chair of the DCMS Committee, said:

“Rapid changes in the media landscape characterised by the huge growth of streaming and online services have created new challenges for traditional public service broadcasters and left our legislation lagging behind. Our Committee wants to hear views on the Government’s proposals so we can ensure we have a future legislative and regulatory framework that allows our media industry to thrive and, most importantly, protects the interests of viewers and listeners.”

The Committee is inviting submissions with a particular focus on any of the following points by 23.59 on Wednesday 17 May 2023:

Public Service Broadcasting

  • Should the Media Bill provide a clear definition of what prominence in online services looks like?
  • Are proposals allowing a Public Service Broadcaster to meet its remit by online programming as well as linear appropriate?
  • Are the proposals in the draft Bill adequate for securing the future of Channel 4 and supporting independent content producers?
  • Do the proposals for S4C meet the legislative changes required by the independent S4C review in 2018, and are these changes still relevant and appropriate today?
  • Is the draft bill sufficiently flexible to legislate for any future extension of the Listed Events regime to include digital content?


  • Are the requirements for the Tier 1 standards code proportionate?
  • Are accessibility requirements for Video on Demand set at an appropriate level?
  • Do the proposals in the draft Media Bill create any risks to UK’s desirability as a market for VoD content?
  • What should be the specific criteria for designating an on-demand programme service as Tier 1?


  • Is the definition of a radio selection service appropriate?
  • Is the definition of an internet radio service appropriate?
  • Are the obligations on radio selection services proportionate?
  • Does the draft Media Bill sufficiently protect the relevant internet radio service to be played in response to a voice command?
  • Are the provisions in the draft Bill sufficient to protect the identity and content of local radio?

General issues

  • Is Ofcom able to deliver its new and updated obligations set out in the draft bill?
  • Is the draft bill flexible enough to address future developments in audience habits and new technology?
  • Does the draft Bill provide sufficient protection for those without internet access or who prefer to use broadcast services?
  • Are the proposed powers to be given to the Secretary of State proportionate?
  • Does the draft bill sufficiently address failures of retained EU law to operate effectively and other deficiencies arising from the withdrawal of the UK from the UK?
  • Are there any issues missing from the draft Bill within the scope of public service broadcasting, video-on-demand or radio?
  • Do you have any recommendations for additional or amended drafting to the draft Bill?

Further information

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