Ofcom Opens Consultation On BBC Digital License

6:32 AM PST 05/08/2012 by Stuart Kemp

The regulator invites industry views on extending the pubcaster's digital broadcasting ticket for 12 years from November 2014.

LONDON –Britain's media watchdog Ofcom has opened its books on a consultation on whether or not to grant the BBC a license to operate its bouquet of digital terrestrial television channels for a further 12 years from November 2014.

The pubcaster currently holds a license to operate its DTT services until November 2014 and applied to Ofcom to renew for a dozen more years from that date.

And it may cost the broadcaster extra if the license, granted under the Broadcasting Act 1996, gets rubber-stamped.

Ofcom said it is consulting on its initial decision not to require the BBC to make additional payments, "in the form of a percentage of multiplex revenue" for the renewal to up the broadcaster's commitment to making the DTT services more available and subsidizing the costs to the consumer of buying set-top boxes and digital receivers.

Ofcom is now gathering submissions from the industry, the public and other interested parties and plans to set out proposals before taking them to the government's culture, olympics, media and sports minister.

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