The UK Media Bill Lives! Big Win In Race To Push Landmark TV & Streaming Laws Through Parliament Ahead Of Election

The Media Bill looks set to become law in the UK, meaning landmark new rules for streaming services including Netflix and Disney.

The House of Lords passed the Media Bill on Thursday evening as lawmakers rushed to ensure the legislation can receive Royal Assent before Parliament is dissolved ahead of an election.

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The Media Bill has been years in the making, but Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s decision to call a snap election on July 4 put the legislation in jeopardy at the eleventh hour.

The bosses of the BBC, ITV, Paramount-owned Channel 5, and Comcast-owned Sky all signed a statement today urging politicians to pass the Media Bill before a change of government.

“As leading CEOs from the UK broadcasting industry, we call on politicians across Parliament not to let the opportunity to modernise the rules that govern our sector pass,” they said.

The Media Act, as the legislation will become known, will bring the major streaming services under the watch of Ofcom, meaning they will policed on issues including accuracy and harmful content.

It will give public service broadcasters, such as the BBC, greater prominence in the age of streaming and allow Channel 4 to produce its own shows for the first time.

Speaking in the House of Lords on Thursday, Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay said he was “delighted” that the government will be able to send the Media Bill “on its way to the statute book.”

He ended his address with a Bruce Springsteen quote, telling fellow Lords: “Come on, let’s go tonight.”

UK broadcasting chiefs said: “The reforms proposed in the Bill will update key aspects of media legislation for the online TV era, to ensure audiences continue to benefit from the highest quality UK-originated content from the PSBs, and help the UK’s content sector thrive for years to come.”

Sunak called the election on Wednesday and it will take place on July 4. His Conservative Party is trailing behind the opposition Labour Party in the polls and the election had been expected to take place towards the end of this year.

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