Independent Television Commission (partially found British broadcast communication regulator statements; 1991-2003)

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Independent Television Commission logo.

Status: Partially Found

The Independent Television Commission (ITC) was an official British communications services regulator. Created as part of the Broadcasting Act 1990, it was one of a few regulators responsible for ensuring television broadcasts in the UK conformed to standards, particularly those that were commercially-funded. Notably, ITC would respond to complaints made concerning possible violations to its Codes of Practice, with many summaries of adjudications being broadcast on the involved television channel that would detail the regulator's findings.


ITC was formed on 1st January, 1991 as a result of a merger between the Independent Broadcasting Authority, the Cable Authority and the Independent Broadcasting Authority as part of the Broadcasting Act 1990. Its role was to licence and regulate any commercially-funded television service in the United Kingdom, across all platforms. Hence, while it did not regulate public services BBC1, BBC2 and Welsh channel S4C,[1] all other channels existing in Britain at the time were subject to ITC scrutiny, totalling 300 that held nearly 600 licences.[2] Aside from licensing commercial television and ensuring many high-quality television services were available in the UK, it also regulated the services through its published codes and guidelines. It performed these functions until 29th December, 2003, when it along with four other regulatory boards, including the Broadcasting Standards Commission, were merged to form Ofcom.[3]

ITC enforced several Codes of Practice, the most notable of which was the Programme Code, which regulated the content that could be shown in television broadcasts, and how strong content like violence, sexual content and bad language should be handled appropriately.[4] In the event of a complaint, ITC will investigate the matter, and will raise them to the organisation involved should concerns be agreed upon by the regulator.

If ITC believes a breach has occurred, it will uphold the complaint. Sanctions can include making formal warnings to the offending television broadcaster, ordering it to broadcast an apology or correction, fine said company and even shorten or withdraw a licence in the most serious cases.[5]


The archived Complaints Reports, which details every complaint made to ITC, indicates some broadcasts were made thanks to the complaints being fully or partly upheld.[6] Despite this, only one has currently resurfaced, where ITC instructed Channel 4 to issue an apology for the Brass Eye special "Paedogeddon!", which attracted significant controversy during its initial broadcast on 26th July, 2001.[7] All other instances of ITC summaries of adjudication have yet to be found.


ITC directing Channel 4 to issue an apology for the Brass Eye special "Paedogeddon!".

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