Ofcom said UKIP should now be regarded as a "major party" - alongside
the Tories, Labour and Lib Dems - for the purpose of European election
broadcasts shown across the whole of the UK.
This means it will qualify for a minimum of two election
broadcasts although it will be up to individual broadcasters to decide
how many it gets in relation to the other parties.
In past elections, UKIP has been given one broadcast in recognition
of the number of candidates it has fielded and a range of other
In reaching its decision, the regulator said it had taken
into account the party's performance in the 2004 and 2009 European
elections, when it won 12 seats and more than 17% of the share of the
total vote in both polls.
Ofcom has, however, not given UKIP "major party" status in relation to May's English council elections.
Although UKIP got nearly 20% of the vote in council elections
last year, the regulator said this was the only time that it had
garnered more than 5% of the vote in local polls.
Ofcom said it would keep the party's status "under review"
with regard to coverage during the 2015 general election and, if there
were "cogent reasons" to do so, would reconsider the matter this autumn.
ITV and Sky News have said Ofcom's advice would be one factor
they will consider in deciding whether UKIP leader Nigel Farage should
be included in any general election debates between the party leaders.