Complaints Burden on Small TV Channels

Some small TV channels are blitzed by malicious complaints that Ofcom fully investigates. Sometimes these complaints are not upheld, sometimes they are, but either way the channel has a cloud over it for the 6 months it takes Ofcom to decide even the simplest thing, and the channel incurs significant internal and external costs for each complaint.

The complaints in question are widely believed to be malicious, from rival broadcasters seeking commercial advantage. In some cases the complaint is technically correct, but it comes from a rival showing comparable material – they cannot genuinely claim to be offended. Some complaints relate to obscure channels that complainants claim to have been watching at 3am!

At best channels incur unreasonable costs and suffer months of uncertainty, at worst they are fined £30,000 or even £250,000 for "material likely to cause offence" where there has been no actual offence. Broadcasters have gone out of business as a result, others are marginal.

1. Complaints from 1 or 2 people should not be given the same weight as genuine complaints for 20 or 30 independent people.

2. Broadcasters should be able to insist that Ofcom checks the credentials of a complainant, rather than relying on emails from fake addresses.

3. What is the complainants genuine address (this should be verified but need not be disclosed).

4. Does the complainant have links to rivals?

5. Why was the complainant watching a clearly signposted channel with offensive material at 2 or 3am?

Why is this idea important?

Some small TV channels are blitzed by malicious complaints that Ofcom fully investigates. Sometimes these complaints are not upheld, sometimes they are, but either way the channel has a cloud over it for the 6 months it takes Ofcom to decide even the simplest thing, and the channel incurs significant internal and external costs for each complaint.

The complaints in question are widely believed to be malicious, from rival broadcasters seeking commercial advantage. In some cases the complaint is technically correct, but it comes from a rival showing comparable material – they cannot genuinely claim to be offended. Some complaints relate to obscure channels that complainants claim to have been watching at 3am!

At best channels incur unreasonable costs and suffer months of uncertainty, at worst they are fined £30,000 or even £250,000 for "material likely to cause offence" where there has been no actual offence. Broadcasters have gone out of business as a result, others are marginal.

1. Complaints from 1 or 2 people should not be given the same weight as genuine complaints for 20 or 30 independent people.

2. Broadcasters should be able to insist that Ofcom checks the credentials of a complainant, rather than relying on emails from fake addresses.

3. What is the complainants genuine address (this should be verified but need not be disclosed).

4. Does the complainant have links to rivals?

5. Why was the complainant watching a clearly signposted channel with offensive material at 2 or 3am?

Let tv licence payers elect the BBC heirachy.

At the moment WE pay the fee and THEY(the government) choose the governors and other people they would like to run it.

It would be a simple matter to make the licencepayers preferences known when the reminders are sent out.

Why is this idea important?

At the moment WE pay the fee and THEY(the government) choose the governors and other people they would like to run it.

It would be a simple matter to make the licencepayers preferences known when the reminders are sent out.

PRS – Get Rid of It

The introduction of the PRS for playing music in public places without a licence is ridiculous.  People who work in places such as factories, prisons, and other big places housing lots of workers need the background music to help production.  It is detrimental to record sales due to no "airplay" being given to artists due to people having to switch off radios for which they have already paid a licence fee for to listen to within the law! 

This really needs to go. 

Why is this idea important?

The introduction of the PRS for playing music in public places without a licence is ridiculous.  People who work in places such as factories, prisons, and other big places housing lots of workers need the background music to help production.  It is detrimental to record sales due to no "airplay" being given to artists due to people having to switch off radios for which they have already paid a licence fee for to listen to within the law! 

This really needs to go.