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Dawes: ‘Real value’ in Ofcom regulating streaming services

Ofcom CEO Melanie Dawes says she wants to be able to regulate the global streaming services in the same was the organisation oversees the UK TV industry

Ofcom chief executive Melanie Dawes has discussed the idea of the watchdog being given the power to regulate the global streaming services in the UK.

In an interview with Channel 4 News, Dawes was asked about the controversy surrounding Jimmy Carr’s stand-up special for Netflix, which has been criticised for a joke about the Holocaust.

Asked if Ofcom should regulate the streamers, Dawes said: “I can certainly see that there’ll be real value in that. Yes. And so, we would welcome any chance to work on that.”

She added: “I can really understand why a lot of people found that very offensive and as you say, we don’t regulate Netflix at the moment, they’re underneath the Dutch regulator.”

“And I think that is a concern because it means that for viewers, it’s really confusing that they’ve got different standards applied, for example, to Channel 4 News than they have to YouTube and other services, including Netflix, that come streamed onto our TVs.”

Dawes added she wants to make the major streaming services and internet platforms such as Facebook accountable and increase transparency across the industry “so that the public have got a much better sense of what’s going on and how things are getting better.”