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Regulating streaming giants could create "homogenised television landscape"

The UK government has proposed tighter regulations for television streaming giants such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Disney+. Ministers have also announced that there will be a consultation into whether to privatise Channel 4.

tom Hemingway

Tom Hemingway, from Warwick's Department of Film and Television Studies, offers his expert view:

"Given the ongoing prominence of streaming services and the similarities in some of their programming to traditional broadcast television, it seems understandable that these giant platforms would be asked to comply with Ofcom’s code. Netflix have made attempts to rectify problems relating to potential harmful material in the past by deciding to remove a detailed suicide sequence from their popular original show, 13 Reasons Why and Disney+ have made smaller, arguably erroneous, edits to existing titles in their catalogue, such as obscuring partial nudity the Tom Hanks film, Splash.

"However, in the same week where it has been reported that ministers are looking to privatise Channel 4, it should also be noted that there are political implications behind these presumably well-intentioned requests to streamers. The compliance to a stricter regulatory code could create an increasingly homogenised television landscape where the streaming services may have previously tried to set themselves apart."

23 June 2021

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