Mobile TV rights a mess in the UK

Content-ownership rights surrounding mobile TV in the UK has reached mass confusion, prompting UK regulator Ofcom to correct the situation by introducing a proposal for a two-rights window. Content-ownership rights are becoming so complex because of a rapidly crowded value-chain, with production and distribution companies becoming involved; and when broadcast partners don't own all the rights, things become even more complicated.

Ofcom has proposed a plan that would allow a public-service broadcaster all rights across all platforms to any program it acquires. This would then be followed by a hold-back period that allows the program's producer to use the rights subject to restrictions set by the broadcaster. Protracted rights negotiations are holding back the flurry of deals the industry has expected in the UK, an issue that is likely to spill over into the U.S. as more broadcasters see mobile as a valuable way to extend their brands.

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