The Association For Television On Demand (ADVOD) has confirmed a series of senior appointments as it takes over video on-demand regulation from Ofcom.
Ofcom has now officially handed over statutory powers to independent body ATVOD for supposedly
light touch regulation of online video, including all consumer protection standards and guidelines for taste, decency and sponsorship requirements.
In response, ATVOD has restructured its operation. Former deputy chair of Ofcom's consumer
panel Ruth Evans has been appointed to lead the organisation as its new independent chair.
Aside Evans, the five-strong ATVOD board includes former Channel 4 News editor Sara Nathan, Advertising Association chief executive Tim Lefroy, ASA Council
member Nigel Walmsley and broadcasting compliance specialist Ian McBride. Sky's Daniel Austin, BT's Simon Milner, Virgin Media's Simon Hunt and Five's Chris Loweth will provide the ATVOD board with an industry perspective.
The organisation has
further hired Pete Johnson as its new chief executive, after he previously managed VOD and packaged media regulatory policy for the BBFC.
This is a landmark moment for video on-demand services in the UK which offer programmes that are
comparable to those shown on traditional TV channels, said Johnson, who will outline ATVOD's regulatory policy on March 25 at IPTV World Forum: On UK services, children will be protected from the most extreme content, and for the first time use of
product placement and sponsorship will be subject to controls and restrictions.
Recent Ofcom research suggests that there are around 150 operators on the UK market that meet the statutory criteria for providing TV-like VOD services. All
providers must now contact ATVOD before April 30 to outline their service propositions, with any firms meeting the criteria required to pay a fee based on the overall cost of regulating the sector . ATVOD said that it will soon launch a six-week
consultation with Ofcom into the fee structure, in which all stakeholders will be able to have their say.