Broadcasting Act 2009
Terms and conditions of multiplex contracts.
138.— (1) Every multiplex contract may contain such terms and conditions as the Authority considers appropriate and specifies in the contract.
(2) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1), the Authority—
(a) may specify in a multiplex contract all or any of the following terms or conditions:
(i) in the case of a sound broadcasting multiplex contractor, a condition requiring the multiplex contractor to implement any proposals made in his or her application for facilitating the inclusion of any listed simulcast services and promoting such services;
(ii) the period during which the contract shall continue in force;
(iii) whether the contract may be renewed and, if so, the manner in which, the terms on which, and the period for which, the contract may be so renewed;
(iv) a condition prohibiting the assignment of the contract or of any interest therein without the prior consent of the Authority; and
(v) if the multiplex contractor is a company, a condition prohibiting any alteration in the Memorandum or Articles of Association of the company or in so much of that Memorandum or of those Articles as may be specified or prohibiting any material change in the ownership of the company without the prior approval of the Authority;
(b) may specify in such a contract the following conditions:
(i) a condition requiring the multiplex contractor to provide the range and type of programmes which he or she proposed to offer in his or her application for the award of the contract;
(ii) a condition requiring the multiplex contractor to implement any proposals made in his or her application for the coverage area of the multiplex or multiplexes;
(iii) a condition requiring the multiplex contractor to implement the proposals made in his or her application for the award of the contract for promoting the acquisition, by persons in the proposed coverage area of the multiplex, of equipment capable of receiving, identifying and, subject to the viewer gaining any necessary entitlements for non free-to-air services, decoding and displaying all of the multiplexes available in that area; and
(iv) following consultation with the Communications Regulator, any condition requiring the multiplex contractor to comply with any technical condition as the Communications Regulator may require in the exercise of its functions.
(3) If a multiplex contract does not contain a condition of the type specified in subparagraph (iv) or (v) of subsection (2) (a), the following provisions shall have effect:
(a) the multiplex contract, or any interest in it, shall not be assignable, nor shall any alteration be made in the Memorandum or Articles of Association of a company which is a multiplex contractor, nor shall there be any material change in the ownership of such a company, without the previous consent in writing of the Authority, and the Authority may, if it considers it reasonable so to do, refuse such consent stating the grounds for such refusal; and
(b) in considering whether to grant its consent to an assignment of a multiplex contract, a change in the Memorandum or Articles of Association of the company which is the multiplex contractor, or a material change in the ownership of such a company, the Authority shall have regard to the criteria specified in section 137 (2).
(4) Every multiplex contract shall—
(a) provide that a multiplex contractor shall pay to the Authority the fees (if any) specified in it, including any fees payable by the Authority to the Communications Regulator under section 135, and
(b) provide that the multiplex contractor shall provide such information (including copies of his or her accounts) as the Authority or the Compliance Committee may consider it requires in order to enable it carry out its functions under this Part.
(5) Every multiplex contract shall be open to inspection by members of the public at the Authority’s registered office and the Authority shall, on request made by any person and on payment of such sum (if any) as the Authority may reasonably require, give to that person a copy of that contract.
(6) The Authority shall, if it considers it appropriate in the context of the interests of the viewer of multiplex services and in the context of satisfactory and orderly operation of multiplexes by multiplex contractors, through further multiplex contract conditions, ensure that each television multiplex contractor operates multiplexes, and any associated services, for which they have entered into multiplex contracts in relation to multiplexes referred to in section 132 (3) and (4)—
(a) in a manner which does not prevent the availing by persons in any area of a single set of receiving equipment that receives all television multiplexes in the area on that one set of receiving equipment, and
(b) in a manner whereby one set of equipment is capable of supporting encryption systems for all multiplexes that may be encrypted but available in the area.
(7) The Authority may specify in each multiplex contract conditions related to subsection (6).