Streaming giants will be regulated in the same way as traditional broadcasters under new government plans Bedford News

Ofcom may rule on complaints for bias or inaccuracy. (Photo: Shutterstock)

Streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime are to be regulated in the same way as traditional broadcasters like the BBC as part of the government’s planned release next week.

The plans will see media watchdog Ofcom extend the same control over streaming giants as it does over traditional broadcasters, meaning it could rule on complaints about issues like inaccuracy and bias.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden is expected to present the proposal in a white paper on broadcasting.

Public service broadcasters (PSBs) have faced stiff competition from big-budget streaming services in recent years, with younger subscribers increasingly using services like Netflix, Amazon Prime and Disney +.

Dowden previously said it was time to “ask really deep questions” about PSBs and the role they play in the new media landscape.

Under the current rules, Netflix does not fall under Ofcom’s jurisdiction as it is based in the Netherlands.

Instead, it is subject to Dutch regulations even on its English programs adapted to the UK version of its site.

Netflix was recently criticized for inaccuracy after the release of yet another royal drama series, The Crown, with calls for Dowden to enforce the addition of a disclaimer that the series is a work of fiction.

Amazon Prime, meanwhile, has come under fire for hosting anti-vaccination documentaries available to viewers in the United States.

A government source said: ‘UK broadcasters have to compete with these giants with one hand tied behind their back. Businesses have deep pockets and are largely unregulated, leaving them free to impose their interpretation of British life.

“The rules governing the operation of broadcasters were written for an analog age. They are not suitable for use in the age of smart TVs, streaming and on-demand programming.

“With the pace of change and increasing global competition, the Culture Secretary believes it is time to consider how we can level the playing field between broadcasters and video-on-demand services and we ensuring that the UK broadcasting landscape is fit for the 21st century. “

Additional reports by PA.

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This notice was published: 2021-06-20 13:31:30

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