§ Mr. Worthington
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if under existing Government proposals for ownership of television stations, the 15 current independent television franchise areas could be owned by eight non-British companies.
§ Mr. Renton
In line with our Treaty of Rome obligations the present, and proposed, prohibition of foreign control of United Kingdom broadcasting services does not extend to other EC countries. Applicants for regional channel 3 franchises, whether or not other EC companies are involved, will not pass the quality threshold unless they can satisfy the ITC that they will provide regional programmes, including programmes produced in the region.