Ofcom Proposes Loosening U.K. Cross-Ownership Rules
July 31, 2009 at 4:54 AM (PT)
A government broadcasting regulator is proposing relaxing newspaper-broadcast cross-ownership rules and limits on owning stations in one market, but it isn't the FCC, it's U.K. agency OFCOM, which released a proposed set of rule recommendations as part of its every-three-years review of the ownership rules.
The proposals include allowing one company to own all of the local commercial radio stations in an area, and allowing cross-media ownership except where a company owns more than 50% of the local newspapers plus a radio and the ITV affiliate in the same market. In addition, a separate proposal would loosen restrictions on stations sharing content, allowing regional stations to share 100% of their content if the station is also placed on DAB for national distribution.
The rule changes are ascribed to the changed economic climate and the need to allow stations to remain competitive.