School of Law, University of Bristol
The UK broadcasting regulator, the Office of Communications (Ofcom) has revoked the television licensable content service licence of One TV, a teleshopping service. Under the Communications Act 2003, ss. 232-40, all providers of broadcasting services for reception by members of the public must have such a licence; if licence conditions are breached, Ofcom may issue a direction to take remedial action, impose financial penalties or revoke the licence. Condition 4 of the licence requires the licensee to pay Ofcom fees determined under Ofcom’s tariff.
On 6 June 2006, Ofcom sent a final reminder to One TV for payment of the annual licence fee of GBP 2000 (approximately EUR 3000), and notified the company that unless the fee was paid within 14 days it would be in breach of the licence which would be revoked. No fee was paid; on 7 July 2006, Ofcom gave the company a final week to pay the fee, and reminded it that no service could be provided if the licence was revoked. Once more no fee was paid, and the licence was thus revoked for breach of condition 4.
Proceedings had also been commenced against One TV for failure to comply with a direction from the Advertising Standards Authority to which Ofcom has delegated television advertising matters. The Authority had found the company to be in breach of the Television Advertising Standards Code, and had directed it to resolve outstanding issues concerning the processing of orders and refunds and to ensure that adequate procedures were in place to meet reasonably foreseeable demands for goods, to fulfil orders within 28 days, to provide refunds promptly and to handle enquiries. The company failed to do so, and Ofcom was thus investigating whether a statutory sanction should be imposed for failure to comply with the direction. This proceeding was discontinued when the licence was revoked and One TV ceased to provide the service.
|■||Ofcom press release, “One TV Licence Revocation”, 22 August 2006||EN|