News Article: 22 February 2012
ATVOD RULING UPHELD BY OFCOM
ATVOD welcomes Ofcom appeal decision that it was correct to determine that the MTV online service ‘Viva TV Music’ is subject to regulation as an on-demand programme service
An appeal by MTV Networks Europe against an ATVOD determination that its web- based music video service ‘Viva TV Music is an on demand programme service and therefore subject to regulation has today not been upheld by Ofcom.
The decision means that MTV is required to ensure that the service complies with a range of statutory requirements and MTV submitted a formal notification for the service prior to today’s publication of the appeal decision.
In order to fall within the scope of the regulations overseen by ATVOD, a service must satisfy a number of statutory criteria, as set out in section 368A of the Communications Act 2003. One of these is that the principal purpose of the service is the provision of programmes the form and content of which are comparable to the form and content of programmes normally included in television programme services.
In the case of Viva TV Music, the decision turned on a number of issues, including whether the Viva TV Music section of the website constituted a service in its own right, and whether music videos are ‘TV-like’ programmes.
Welcoming the decision, ATVOD Chief Executive Pete Johnson said:
“This is a complex area and the appeal system is a vital part of the process, giving service providers, in particular, greater clarity over the scope of the regulations.”