Ofcom airtime rules review and CRR clash

20 July 2010

Ofcom’s plan to review commercial airtime rules in 2010 with an emphasis on deregulation clashes with the Competition Commission’s provisional decision to retain the Contract Rights Renewal remedy (CRR) as it is, other than to extend the ITV1 definition to include staggercast and HD variants

The core issue is that it is impossible to address UK commercial airtime rules in isolation from CRR, which strongly motivates all parties to sell 100% of their commercial airtime inventories, and is seen by many as exerting a strong deflationary pressure on TV advertising spend

Even without CRR, the Ofcom aim of being in a position to effect change from the start of 2011 looks optimistic. Increasingly, it seems that meaningful relaxation of the existing rules will require primary legislation in order to circumvent the continuing competition issues that have led to CRR

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