Ofcom licenses all UK commercial television and radio services in the UK. Broadcasters must comply by the terms of their licence, or risk having it revoked.
Ofcom publishes the Broadcasting Code, a series of rules which all broadcast content on television and radio must follow.
Regulation of media broadcasts.
Ofcom examines specific complaints by viewers or listeners about programmes broadcast on channels that it has licensed. It does not oversee unlicensed channels broadcast to UK viewers.
When Ofcom receives a complaint, it asks the broadcaster for a copy of the programme, and then examines the programme content to see if it is in breach of the broadcasting code. Ofcom requests response from the broadcaster to the complaint. On the basis of this response, Ofcom will mark the complaint as either "upheld" or "not upheld", or alternatively simply "resolved".
Ofcom also undertakes the enforcement of radio licensing, closing down unlicensed pirate radio stations, among other tasks.