Insights Ofcom consults on review of how it regulates the BBC


Ofcom is required to produce a “Periodic Review” of the BBC at the mid-point of the current BBC Charter period. This will form the basis of Ofcom’s advice to the Government for its own mid-term Charter review. In conducting the review, Ofcom says that it will reflect on its regulation of the BBC over the last four years to ensure it remains as effective as possible in holding the BBC to account on behalf of viewers and listeners.

Ofcom says that it plans to use this opportunity to build on the conclusions of its broader work on the future of public service media, “Small Screen: Big Debate”, which shows a specific need to update the BBC’s Operating Licence for the digital age.

The review will cover all areas of Ofcom’s duties: performance, content standards, and competition. Ofcom will focus on ensuring its regulation:

  • drives the BBC to a position of greater transparency about its plans and processes for the benefit of audiences, industry and Parliament;
  • supports the BBC’s shift towards online delivery alongside traditional broadcasting; and
  • allows the BBC to innovate and change to meet audience needs and expectations.

Ofcom says that the consultation marks the beginning of this process and invites views on the scope of its review, and on how regulation might need to be adapted to ensure it remains fit for the future. The closing date for responses is 5pm on 15 September 2021. To access the consultation, click here.