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Streamers operating in UK set to be regulated by Ofcom

Ofcom will reportedly move to bring Netflix and other streaming services under its regulatory eye.

According to The Telegraph, UK culture secretary Oliver Dowden will set out a proposal this week in a whitepaper which would extend Ofcom’s remit to cover on-demand services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Disney+.

The move comes after the US streamer was embroiled in controversy with the UK government over its portrayal of historical events in royal drama The Crown. This led John Whittingdale, the minister for media and data to question why streamers are not held to the same standards as traditional broadcasters during a Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) select committee meeting.

This question appears to have been answered by Dowden, who will move to bring streamers into check. 

While it operates in the UK with an English-language portal tailored to British audiences, Netflix is subject to Dutch regulations as its European business is based in Amsterdam. 

A source cited by the paper said that the move will update the rules which “were written for an analogue age” and “are not fit for purpose in an era of smart TVs, streaming and on-demand programming.”

Tags: Netflix, Ofcom