Draft Media Bill DCMS Committee launches pre-legislative scrutiny

April 24, 2023

Last month, the UK government published its draft Media Bill, which would broaden how broadcasters can meet their public service obligations and bring some platforms under strict regulatory control.

The DCMS Committee is now carrying out pre-legislative scrutiny and is inviting submissions with a particular focus on the following points.

Public Service Broadcasting

  • Should the Media Bill provide a clear definition of what prominence in online services look like?
  • Are proposals allowing a Public Service Broadcaster to meet its remit by online programming as well as linear appropriate’?
  • Are the proposals in the draft Bill adequate for securing the future of Channel 4 and supporting independent content producers?
  • Do the proposals for S4C meet the legislative changes required by the independent S4C review in 2018, and are these changes still relevant and appropriate today?
  • Is the draft bill sufficiently flexible to legislate for any future extension of the Listed Events regime to include digital content?


  • Are the requirements for the Tier 1 standards code proportionate?
  • Are accessibility requirements for Video on Demand set at an appropriate level?
  • Do the proposals in the draft Media Bill create any risk to UK’s desirability as a market for VoD content?
  • What should be the specific criteria for designating an on-demand programme service as Tier 1?


  • Is the definition of a radio selection service appropriate?
  • Is the definition of an internet radio service appropriate?
  • Are the obligations on radio selection services proportionate?
  • Does the draft Media Bill sufficiently protect the relevant internet radio service to be played in response to a voice command?
  • Are the provisions in the draft Bill sufficient to protect the identity and content of local radio?

General issues

  • Is Ofcom able to deliver its new and updated obligations set out in the draft bill?
  • Is the draft bill flexible enough to address future developments in audience habits and new technology?
  • Does the draft Bill provide sufficient protection for those without internet access or who prefer to use broadcast services?
  • Are the proposed powers to be given to the Secretary of State proportionate?
  • Does the draft bill sufficiently address failures of retained EU law to operate effectively and other deficiencies arising from the withdrawal of the UK from the UK?
  • Are there any issues missing from the draft Bill within the scope of public service broadcasting, video-on-demand or radio?
  • Do you have any recommendations for additional or amended drafting to the draft Bill?

The inquiry ends on 17 May 2023.