Ofcom to retain stricter advertising rules on commercially-funded public service broadcasting channels in UK

Johar Deep



Commercially-funded public service broadcasting (PSB) (Channel 3 services (e.g. ITV, STV and UTV), Channel 4, Channel 5 and S4C) channels in the UK have been subject to stricter rules on the quantity and scheduling of television advertising than other commercial channels since 1991 – these differential rules were introduced by Ofcom’s predecessor, the Independent Television Commission.

There have been significant changes in how television is distributed and watched since then, including the expansion of multichannel television and the introduction of on-demand television and online streaming services.

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Following a consultation in April 2023 to seek input on our provisional view that the stricter advertising restrictions on PSB channels are no longer justified or proportionate, Ofcom has decided not to remove the stricter advertising rules that apply only to PSB channels at this time.