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Ofcom approves PSB teleshopping services in the UK



UK communications regulator Ofcom has ruled that, for the first time, UK public broadcast channels can air teleshopping programming. The decision means that ITV, the BBC and Channel 4 are permitted to run teleshopping services from midnight to 6am.

The existing rules for non-PSB free-to-air channels, which limit teleshopping programming to three hours a day will also be relaxed.
Ofcom said: “In limiting teleshopping on PSB channels to overnight transmissions, Ofcom balanced the recognition that teleshopping services could contribute to PSB funding with its view that teleshopping content does not contribute to the public service remit.”
The regulator made the ruling as part of a review of the TV advertising rules.

Commercial broadcasters are keen to air more advertising to offset declines caused by the economic downturn. But Ofcom refused to increase the overall amount of advertising permitted and said it will revisit that decision in spring 2010 when the UK’s digital switchover is nearer completion.
Ofcom has tweaked the rules on how much advertising is permitted in long programmes – those that run for over an hour – and broadcasters can now insert more ads into these, bringing them into line with the rules for non-PSB channels.