Insights Ofcom publishes amendments to the Broadcasting Code and the Code on the Scheduling of Television Advertising


Following consultation, Ofcom has confirmed changes to its Broadcasting Code and Code on the Scheduling of Television Advertising. The changes reflect new requirements on broadcasters under the revised Audiovisual Media Services Regulation 2020, and also take account of legislative changes following the end of the transition period for the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union.

In brief, Ofcom has amended:

  • the definition of hate speech in Section Three (Crime, disorder, hatred and abuse) of the Broadcasting Code;
  • section Nine  (Commercial references on TV)  of the Broadcasting Code,  to reflect new product placement provisions; and
  • the Code on the Scheduling of Television Advertising (COSTA),  to reflect advertising provisions under the European Convention on Transfrontier Television.

Ofcom also made other minor and administrative updates to the Broadcasting Code.

Both the revised Broadcasting Code and the revised COSTA took effect at 23:00 on 31 December 2020, when the Brexit transition period ended. To read Ofcom’s statement in full, click here.