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Netflix and other streaming services to be regulated by Ofcom as part of reported UK government plans

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·1-min read
Netflix and other streaming services to be regulated by Ofcom as part of reported UK government plans
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Netflix are one of several streaming services set to fall under Ofcom’s jurisdiction according to reported proposals (AFP via Getty Images)
Netflix are one of several streaming services set to fall under Ofcom’s jurisdiction according to reported proposals (AFP via Getty Images)

Netflix will reportedly be subject to regulation under UK broadcast watchdog Ofcom, with government plans set to be announced this week.

Along with other streaming services such as Amazon Prime Video and Disney Plus, Netflix currently falls outside Ofcom’s jurisdiction.

The prospective changes would see the regulator given the power to adjudicate on complaints over issues of rule relating to bias and inaccuracy.

It is hoped that the changes would provide a boost to the nation’s traditional broadcasters, such as the BBC.

A report in The Telegraph quoted a government source as saying: “UK broadcasters are having to compete with these giants with one hand tied behind their backs. The companies have deep pockets and go largely unregulated, leaving them free to impose their interpretation of British life.

“With the pace of change and the increase in global competition, the culture secretary [Oliver Dowden] feels it is time to look at how we can level the playing field between broadcasters and video-on-demand services and make sure the UK’s broadcasting landscape is fit for the 21st century.”

Last year, Netflix faced criticism from Dowden over scenes in the drama series The Crown which contained historical inaccuracies.

Currently, the Ofcom website contains a statement clarifying that “Netflix is based in the Netherlands and therefore not within Ofcom’s jurisdiction”.

It advises viewers who have complaints about the streaming service’s content to “contact Netflix directly” or to contact the Dutch Media Authority, the Commissariaat voor de Media.

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