ATVOD

The Association for Television on Demand
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20111221 Sun Appeal verdict

News Article: 21 December 2011

ATVOD RESPONDS TO OFCOM APPEAL DECISION REGARDING SUN WEBSITE

ATVOD to withdraw determinations in relation to other newspaper websites following Ofcom appeal ruling that the Sun TV / Sun Video section of The Sun website did not constitute an On-Demand Programme Service.

ATVOD has acted promptly following a decision by Ofcom today to uphold an appeal by News Group Newspapers Ltd. against a determination by ATVOD that The Sun’s website included a video on demand service which fell within the video on demand regulator’s remit. Given the similarities between The Sun case and other newspaper and magazine websites, ATVOD has today announced that it will withdraw its Determinations that The Sunday Times Video Library, Telegraph TV, The Independent Video, FT Video, Guardian Video, Guardian You Tube, News of the World TV and Elle TV were On-Demand Programme Services.

ATVOD had held that The Sun’s internet video offering met the definition of an On-Demand Programme Service, set out in the Communications Act 2003. The Ofcom decision is that the Sun Video section of the website (previously styled as ‘Sun TV’) is not subject to regulation by ATVOD.

The appeal judgement is the third made by Ofcom this year, the communications regulator having previously backed ATVOD’s rulings that ‘adult’ websites Demand Adult and Climax 3 fell within the scope of the new rules which include a requirement that children are protected from material which might seriously impair their development.

ATVOD Chief Executive, Pete Johnson, said:  

“Most people will recognise that defining the scope of new regulations in a fast-moving market is a complex and difficult task. The appeal system  is a vital part of  the process, giving users and providers of video on demand services greater clarity over where the new protections for consumers do and do not apply. Given the clear similarities between The Sun and the other newspaper and magazine websites under appeal, we have moved quickly to confirm that the Determinations in relation to those services are being withdrawn with immediate effect.

We will now reflect further on the appeal judgement and consider any implications it may have for any other past and future rulings on whether a service falls within ATVOD’s remit.”