DCMS to question Netflix, Amazon and Sky execs over Media Bill draft

Representatives from Netflix, Amazon and Sky will be questioned by MPs as part of Parliament’s Culture, Media and Sport Committee (DCMS) scrutiny of the draft Media Bill.

The first panel will focus partly on the obligations imposed on services by the proposed Video-on-Demand Code.

The recently announced Media Bill aims to enable public service broadcasters to better compete with the leading streaming services. It sees pubcasters such as the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5, STV and S4C receive new privileges and freedoms in order to help them grow and keep up with the streamer giants.

While popular streaming services consumed in the UK, such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Disney+ will be subjected to a new Ofcom content code, designed to protect audiences from a wider range of harmful material.

This includes VoD viewers able to formally complain to Ofcom and the UK media watchdog will have more robust powers to investigate and issues fines of up to £250,000 or restricting a service’s availability in the UK.

The committee is also likely to explore with the witnesses the prominence of PSBs on smart TVs and the obligations on smart speaker platforms to provide access to radio stations. The committee will then move on to explore the protections for radio in more detail with the second panel, made up of Google, TuneIn and techUK.

The panel will take place on Tuesday June 27, with Anna Hatfield Amazon’s public policy manager, Benjamin King Netflix’s senior director of public policy UK and Ireland and Alistair Law Sky’s director of policy among the representatives.

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