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Reference > Media law & regulation > UK media laws > Broadcasting

UK media laws: Broadcasting

Page still under construction; subject to revision

See also Quotas and levies.

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THE TELEVISION ACT 1958
see  The Television Act 1964

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THE TELEVISION ACT 1963
see  The Television Act 1964

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THE TELEVISION ACT 1964
1964 c.21
An Act to consolidate the Television Acts 1954 and 1963

This Act, based mainly on the 1954 Act that established the Independent Television Authority (ITA) as regulator of the commercial television service, defines the constitution, functions and powers of the ITA, including control of programme content, advertising, . It excluded sound-only broadcasting but made reference to a possible second commercial television channel that the ITA should ensure was not competitively scheduled with the first.
Click for details

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THE MARINE, etc, BROADCASTING (OFFENCES) ACT 1967
1967 c.41
An Act to suppress broadcasting from ships, aircraft and certain marine structures.

§
1
Prohibition of broadcasting from ships and aircraft.
2
Prohibition of broadcasting from marine structures.
3
Prohibition of acts connected with broadcasting from certain ships and aircraft, and from marine structures outside United Kingdom.
4
Prohibition of acts facilitating broadcasting from ships, aircraft, etc.
   
No providing supplies or equipment or transport.
5
Prohibition of acts relating to matter broadcast from ships, aircraft, etc.
   
No making programmes for pirate broadcasters.
6 Penalties and legal proceedings.
7 Special defence available in proceedings for carrying goods or persons in contravention of section 4.
   
In the event of a radio ship in distress or of personal injury or danger.
8 It is not illegal to broadcast from ships, aircraft, marine structures, etc, if you have a Post Office licence to do so.
9 Interpretation.
   
(1) In this Act, "broadcast" means a broadcast by wireless telegraphy of sounds or visual images intended for general reception (whether the sounds or images are actually received by any person or not), but does not include a broadcast consisting in a message or signal sent in connection with navigation or for the purpose of securing safety.'
10
Power to extend Act to Isle of Man and Channel Islands by Order in Council [which means in effect by Statutory Instrument]

SI
1967/1274 The Marine, etc, Broadcasting (Offences) (Guernsey) Order
1967/1275 The Marine, etc, Broadcasting (Offences) (Jersey) Order
1967/1976 The Marine, etc, Broadcasting (Offences) (Isle of Man) Order

This was the Act by which the government sought to ban broadcasts by 'pirate' radio stations, mostly operating from ships outside the UK's territorial waters. These had flourished since 28 March 1964, when Radio Caroline went on the air and initiated a spate of such ventures, proving the public appetite for music-based commercial radio.

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REGULATION (EEC) No 2632/70 OF THE COMMISSION
of 23 December 1970
On determining the origin of radio and television receivers.
   In determining the country of origin, at least 45 per cent of components must be made in one country, otherwise the country of origin is the last one in which an 'important stage of manufacture' occurred.

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SOUND BROADCASTING ACT 1972
1972 c.31
An Act to extend the functions of the Independent Television Authority, renamed the Independent Broadcasting Authority, so as to include the provision of local and broadcasting services, and to amend and supplement the Television Act 1964 for the purpose of so extending the functions of the Authority; and for purposes connected with those matters.

§
1
Independent Television Authority to be renamed Independent Broadcasting Authority.
2
Provision by Authority of local sound broadcasting services.
3 Local advisory committees for local sound broadcasts.
4 Television and sound broadcasting to be separately financed by Authority.
5 Rental payments by sound programme contractors.
6 Preservation of independence of broadcasting contractors.
7 Accumulation of interests in sound programme contracts. Safeguards provided.
8
Special provisions as to newspaper shareholdings in relation to local sound broadcasts.

SI
1973/1087 Sound Broadcasting Act 1972 (Channel Islands) Order
1973/1088 Sound Broadcasting Act 1972 (Isle of Man) Order

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THE INDEPENDENT BROADCASTING AUTHORITY ACT 1973
1973 c.19
An Act to consolidate the Television and Sound Broadcasting Acts 1964 and 1972.

Provisions of this Act are essentially the same as in the Acts hereby consolidated.

§
1
Constitution of Authority.
2
Function and duties of Authority.
3 Powers of Authority.
4 General provisions with respect to content of programmes.
5 Code for programmes other than advertisements.
6 Submission of programme schedules for Authority's approval.
7
Programme prizes.
8
Advertisements.
9
Code for advertisements.
10
Advisory committees.
11
Local advisory committees for local sound broadcasts.
12
Duties of Authority in relation to contracts for programmes.
13
Provisions to be included in contracts for programmes.
14
Newspaper shareholdings in programme contractors.
15
Buying and selling of programmes by programme contractors.
16
Wages and conditions of employment of persons employed by programme contractors
17
Accumulation of interests in sound programme contracts.
18
Special provisions as to newspaper shareholdings in relation to local sound broadcasts.
21
Government control over Authority as to hours of broadcasting.
22
Government control over Authority as to certain other matters.
23
Prevention of exclusive arrangements for broadcasting events of national interest
24
Co-operation of Authority with British Broadcasting Corporation in use of broadcasting installations.
25
Television and sound broadcasting to be separately financed by Authority.
26
Rental payments by television programme con­tractors.
29
Application of any excess of revenues over expenditure.
30
Advances to Authority for purposes of local sound broadcasting.
32
Machinery for settling terms and conditions of employment of Authority's staff, etc.
33
Audience research.
34
Second television service provided by Authority.

SI
1976/1778 The Independent Broadcasting Authority Act 1973 (Isle of Man) Order
1979/114 The Independent Broadcasting Authority Act 1973 (Channel Islands) Order

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INDEPENDENT BROADCASTING AUTHORITY ACT 1974
1974 c.16
An Act to make further provision as to the payments to be made to the Independent Broadcasting Authority by television programme contractors; and for purposes connected therewith.

Replaces §26 and adds §27B in the Independent Broadcasting Authority Act 1973, changing the 'Exchequer Levy' payments to tax on profits, rather than advertising receipts alone. Secretary of State, on the advice of the IBA, can make supplementary orders for payments.

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INDEPENDENT BROADCASTING AUTHORITY (No 2) ACT 1974
1974 c.42
An Act to extend from 31st July 1976 to 31st July 1979 the date until which the Independent Broadcasting Authority are to provide television and local sound broadcasting services.

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INDEPENDENT BROADCASTING AUTHORITY ACT 1978
1978 c.43
An Act to extend until 31st December 1981 the period during which television and local sound broadcasting services are to be provided by the Independent Broadcasting Authority and to exclude section 4(2) and (5) of the Independent Broadcasting Authority Act 1973 in relation to proceedings in Parliament and proceedings of local authorities and committees and joint committees local authorities.

§2 allows exemption from prohibition of certain people from broadcasting opinions where opinion is expressed in proceedings of parliament or local authorities.

SI
1979/461 The Independent Broadcasting Authority Act 1978 (Isle of Man) Order

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INDEPENDENT BROADCASTING AUTHORITY ACT 1979
1979 c.35
An Act to confer power on the Independent Broadcasting Authority to equip themselves to transmit a television broadcasting service additional to those of the British Broadcasting Corporation and to that provided by the Authority under the Independent Broadcasting Authority Act 1973.

  Whoever runs the fourth channel, the IBA will run the transmitter network for the service.

§
1(1) 'With a view to the provision (whether by the Independent Broadcasting Authority themselves or by any other body of persons) of a television broadcasting service.. shall have power... to do all such things as are in their opinion necessary or expedient for the purpose of equipping themselves to transmit the programmes included in any such additional service.

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BROADCASTING ACT 1990
1990 c.42

The whole Act can be read on the OPSI website (click to access).

 

TELEVISION LICENCES (DISCLOSURE OF INFORMATION) ACT 2000
2000 c.15

Allows the Secretary of State and the Northern Ireland department to disclose to the BBC social services information about free and reduced-fee television licences
The whole Act can be read on the OPSI website (click to access).

 

Alphabetical list of statutes.

 

Page updated 25 September 2005
© David Fisher