Proposed Amendment to the Broadcasting Act 1993

Closed 21 Sep 2021

Opened 10 Aug 2021

Overview

Council of Ministers has been requested to consider making changes to legislation restricting newspapers from holding more than 20% in a licensed broadcaster. Consequently Council has agreed that the Cabinet Office should conduct a public consultation on its behalf regarding the request to change legislation in the interests of transparency and good governance.

Isle of Man Newspapers has requested that Council considers making the proposed change to the current legislation arguing that the status quo could be considered out of date and that the proposed change would allow for consolidation in the media sector. It is further argued that such consolidations would help ensure the future sustainability of the sector. Council of Ministers acknowledges these points, but is of the view that there are likely to be a range of views in respect of the proposed changes, it therefore welcomes the views of all interested parties in this regard.

As it stands, the acquisition is not permitted due to statutory restrictions placed on newspapers holding more than a 20% interest in a licensed sound broadcaster within the Broadcasting Act 1993. The Council of Ministers has been requested to consider changing the legislation, by Order, to effectively remove this constraint. This would have the effect of allowing for the acquisition of radio stations by newspapers (something that Isle of Man Newspapers has indicated it would have a potential interest in) and vice versa.

The purpose of this consultation is therefore to assess whether it would be appropriate to amend the relevant legislation.

Why your views matter

There are 2 options available to Council of Ministers at present:

  1. To retain the status quo and not amend the legislation
     
  2. To amend the legislation to allow for radio stations and newspapers to hold up to 100% interest in the other, allowing for acquisitions and mergers to proceed.

Your views are sought on whether amendments to the Broadcasting Act 1993 for this purpose is a good idea and what the positive or negative impacts may be. 

Areas

  • All Areas

Audiences

  • Anyone from any background

Interests

  • Legislation
  • Business