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Ofcom approves Channel 5's planned changes to news output

Ofcom approves Channel 5's planned changes to news output
© Channel 5
TV regulator Ofcom gives Channel 5 permission to launch a new one-hour news bulletin in the weekday 5pm timeslot.

TV regulator Ofcom has given Channel 5 the go-ahead to create a new 60-minute news bulletin in the 5pm hour on weekdays.

Up until now, terms of the broadcaster's licence have required the channel to broadcast a certain quota of news content in peaktime - resulting in two 30-minute news bulletins being shown, at 5pm and 6.30pm.

The 6.30pm bulletin largely repeats content shown at 5pm and also competes with other news bulletins shown on the BBC and ITV at the exact same time.

Channel 5 had asked Ofcom to allow it to instead broadcast a one-hour news bulletin starting at 5pm, a move that would result in more investment into its news coverage and allow it to explore news items in more depth.

In a statement, Ofcom said: "Following a consultation, we have approved a request from Channel 5 to change the conditions of its licence relating to its news provision.

"We have considered the range of views submitted by stakeholders and concluded that the changes will continue to meet the objectives for news and current affairs programming requirements set out in the Communications Act 2003."

Although the new hour-long bulletin is not expected to be on air imminently, Channel 5 is rolling out a new early evening schedule in the coming weeks, as Eggheads joins the lineup in a new weekday 6.30pm slot from October 4.

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