In its response to the UK Government’s consultation into public service broadcaster Channel 4’s future, Pact – the UK trade association representing and promoting the commercial interests of independent creative content producers – has called for the broadcaster to up its investment in programmes made in the nations and regions to 50 per cent. This would put it on a par with the BBC.
Last year, Channel 4 invested 40 per cent of its budget in the nations and regions (the current requirement is 35 per cent).
“If C4 matched [the percentage of BBC spend] then two of the main public service broadcasters could become major powerhouses in developing production and opportunity out of London,” suggested Pact Chief Executive John McVay.
Pact contends that increasing programming spend would have a more positive regional impact for indies based outside of London. Using evidence from a Pact member survey, we estimate that the additional travel and accommodation costs if Channel 4 were to relocate could be around £2,000 per year to businesses.
Pact has also voiced its opposition to changes to the indie Growth Fund, which could enable Channel 4 to up its investment in indies to 49 per cent. McVay has said that would mean “Channel 4 would effectively be moving into production through the back door.”
The Government is now considering all the responses it has received and will respond within twelve weeks of the consultation ending.