This page highlights some of the current parliamentary material available on broadcasting. This includes select committee reports, briefing papers on current legislation and other subjects produced by the parliamentary research services, and the latest Early Day Motions put down by MPs.

Commons Briefing Papers

03.12.2015BBC Charter renewal
The current BBC Charter expires at the end of 2016. Negotiations are underway for its renewal. What is the process and what happened when it was last renewed?
04.11.2015TV licence fee non-payment: decriminalising the offence
At present, using a television receiver without a valid licence can lead to prosecution, a court appearance and a fine of up to 1,000. Should it cease to be a criminal offence? Some parliamentarians think so. The BBC thinks not. An independent report has looked into this and recommended no change.
25.09.2015The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse and background
This briefing concerns the establishment of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, a statutory Inquiry chaired by Justice Lowell Goddard, which formally opened in July 2015. The Chair has stated she hopes to conclude the Inquiry's work before end-2020. This Inquiry replaced the previous, non-statutory, Inquiry set up in July 2014 which saw both of its Chairs resign.
18.09.2015Confidentiality and openness in the family courts: current rules and history of their reform
This briefing paper considers transparency in the family courts, including communication of information and media attendance, and background on recent changes in this area.
20.07.2015The UK 4G spectrum auction and mobile coverage
Ofcom auctioned radio spectrum needed for 4G mobile devices in 2013, raising 2.34 billion (less than Treasury forecasts). This briefing summarises the details of the auction, potential interference with digital television and future plans for the 700 MHz lot of spectrum.
30.03.2015Televised debates between party leaders
This note sets out the background to the current debate about televised debates between party leaders during a general election campaign. Three debates were held for the first time in the UK during the 2010 general election. The BBC, ITV News, Sky News and Channel 4 have put forward proposals to change the format of the televised leaders' debates to be held before the 2015 general election.
17.03.2015Party Political Broadcasts
This note sets out the current arrangements for party political broadcasts including their allocation, frequency, scheduling, length and content. Details are given of the BBC's final allocation criteria for party election broadcasts (PEBs) in 2015 as well as Ofcom's rules on PEBs for commercial broadcasters.
11.02.2015Listed sporting events
The Broadcasting Act 1996 (as amended) gives the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport the power to designate key sporting and other events as 'listed events'. The purpose of this is to ensure that such events are made available to all television viewers, particularly those who do not have subscription television.
24.02.2014Local television
The UK's first local TV channel began broadcasting in November 2013, with others scheduled to launch in 2014. This note describes the background to the policy, how the channels are funded and the licence conditions imposed on them.
23.12.2013Digital radio switchover
The Government has published an Action Plan setting out its intention to see radio broadcasting switch from analogue to digital audio broadcasting ('DAB'). The target date, which the industry considers is achievable and the Government says it would support, is 2015.

Lords Library Notes

03.09.2015BBC: Future Financing and Independence
This Library Note sets out background information about the BBC's purpose, funding and independence and explains the Royal Charter renewal process. It then provides an overview of the green paper's four themes and highlights the views on these of the BBC Trust and, where relevant, those expressed by parliamentary committees.
22.11.2013Debate on 28 November: Broadcast Media
This Library Note provides background reading for the debate on the contribution of broadcast media to the UK economy.


19.10.2015Trends in ICT
This note looks at developments in information and communication technology (ICT) and their relevance for UK policy in the next five years. It examines the capability, use and economic impact of ICT; technical barriers; and implications for cybersecurity, privacy and internet governance.
29.05.2015UK Broadband Infrastructure
The growing use of smart phones and data intensive services (such as video streaming), has increased demand for both fixed and mobile internet. This POSTnote looks at patterns in broadband access and use, and the technical and policy challenges of enhancing UK broadband infrastructure to meet future needs.
01.12.2007Next generation telecoms networks, December 2007
Next generation telecoms networks, December 2007. POSTnote 07/296.
01.07.2007Radio spectrum management, July 2007
Radio spectrum management, July 2007. POSTnote 07/292.
01.06.2006Analogue to digital TV switchover, June 2006
Analogue to digital TV switchover, June 2006. POSTnote 06/264.

Select Committee Reports

19.07.2011BBC licence fee settlement and annual report.
Government response. Culture Media and Sport Select Committee; Department for Culture, Media and Sport report [Commons]
Government response. Department for Culture, Media and Sport report [Commons]
21.06.2011The governance and regulation of the BBC.
Communications Select Committee (HL) report [Lords]
24.05.2011Pre-appointment hearing with the government's preferred candidate for the Chairman of the S4C Authority...
Culture Media and Sport Select Committee; Welsh Affairs Select Committee report [Commons]
17.05.2011Implications of cuts to the BBC World Service.
Government response. Foreign Affairs Select Committee; BBC; Foreign and Commonwealth Office report [Commons]

Early Day Motions

That this House believes that television credits displayed at the end of programmes are crucial; further believes that they help the skilled workforce to advertise their skills to prospective ...
That this House condemns the disgraceful and disgusting remarks made by Jeremy Clarkson on the BBC; notes that his comments have been criticised by thousands of licence payers, hon. ...
That this House is concerned that TV Licensing is both intimidating and misleading in its correspondence with households which do not have atelevision licence; is further concerned ...
That this House notes that Rhythmix is the name of a small Brighton-based charity providing music-making opportunities to vulnerable youngsters; welcomes the decision by the entertainment ...
That this House is concerned at the decision by Trinity Mirror North West to close its Westminster operation and the impact this will have on daily coverage of Parliamentary and constituency ...


  • Commons Briefing Papers (CBP) Papers providing in-depth and impartial analysis on every major piece of primary legislation and on other topics of public and parliamentary concern. Regular statistics papers are also published.
  • Early Day Motions (EDMs) - formal motions submitted by MPs in the House of Commons
  • POSTnotes (POST PN) - proactive four-page policy briefings from the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology based on reviews of the research literature, interviews with stakeholders and peer review, commissioned by the POST Board
  • Lords Library Notes (LLN) - authored publications by the research section of the House of Lords Library that provide analysis of Bills, subjects for debate in the House and other issues of interest to Members.
  • Select Committee Reports - papers produced by all select committees of both Houses