The UK government has officially released the draft of its Media Bill which aims to help public service broadcasters better compete with the global streaming services,
The Bill sets out plans to bring Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Disney Plus under new Ofcom rules, and require them to provide subtitles, audio description and signing to support people with disabilities.
The streamers could face fines of up to £250,000 or be restricted in the UK entirely if they are found to have broken rules around harmful material.
According to the government, the draft Media Bill will enable public service broadcasters to “unleash their potential to grow, produce more top quality British content and invest in new technologies”.
Culture secretary Lucy Frazer said: “Technology has revolutionised the way people enjoy TV. The battle to attract and retain audiences has never been more fierce. British content and production is world leading but changes to viewing habits have put traditional broadcasters under unprecedented pressure.
“These new laws will level the playing field with global streaming giants, ensuring they meet the same high standards we expect from public service broadcasters and that services like iPlayer and ITVX are easy to find however you watch TV,” added Frazer.
“Our Bill will give these brilliant broadcasters and our legendary radio industry the tools to keep doing what they do best – nurturing the creative talent and skills that fuel the UK’s booming production industry, whilst making outstanding shows that we can all enjoy.”
The publication of the Bill in draft will allow for further engagement with the industry, said the government. It added that it “remains fully committed to introducing the Bill as soon as Parliamentary time allows”.