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Ofcom to take over VoD regulation from ATVOD

The UK’s Ofcom is to bring regulation of on-demand video services in-house, ending existing co-regulator ATVOD’s six year role in regulating the content of VoD services.

Ofcom’s decisions followed a strategic review that concluded that “in light of the increasing convergence of linear services and on-demand programme services, the Single Digital Market Review in the EU, and the need for a comprehensive solution to the future of content regulation…having a separate organisation carrying out this aspect of Ofcom’s work is no longer the most effective way of delivering this part of our remit”.

ATVOD was set up in 2010 to regulate on-demand programmes, and currently regulates about 110 VoD services delivered to set-top boxes, mobile phones, tablets and connected TVs or to computers via the internet. A large part of the body’s activity has been focused on regulating adult services.

“We are immensely proud of the work ATVOD has done since it was given the job of overseeing a brand new set of regulatory rules for video on demand services in 2010. We have done this as a co-regulator dedicated to engaging fully with the industry we regulate in order to ensure that consumers enjoy the protections to which they are entitled without the imposition of unnecessary burdens on providers of video on demand services. Under our regulation, the UK video on demand industry has grown strongly and consumer complaints have been dealt with effectively and efficiently.  Our task now is to make sure that our service to consumers and service providers remains of the highest standard during the remaining months of 2015 and to work closely with Ofcom to manage a smooth and seamless transition. We will do this with the professionalism stakeholders have come to expect of ATVOD over the past few years,” said ATVOD chair Ruth Evans.

“We would like to thank all those who have helped us discharge our duties since 2010, including past and present Industry Forum Chairs Kerry Kent and Martin Stott, past and present Industry Forum Deputy Chairs Helena Brewer and Michael Gooding and all the service providers who have helped put the ‘co’ in co-regulation by serving on our Board and participating via our joint working parties. Our regulation benefited greatly from their input and we’ve been pleased to develop together a robust and efficient model of co-regulation taking a fledgling industry sector through its first five years. Finally, we’d like to thank the ATVOD staff and Board for all their hard work and dedication. They have done a challenging job fantastically well,” said ATVOD CEO Pete Johnson.