Ofcom updates on PSB review

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UK broadcast regulator Ofcom has published a review of how public service broadcasting (PSB) has delivered for UK audiences over a five-year period (2014 – 2018).

The Communications Act 2003 sets out the purposes and objectives of PSB and the television services responsible for their delivery. It also requires Ofcom to periodically review the PSB channels’ performance.

Ofcom’s review – Small Screen: Big Debate – a five-year review of Public Service Broadcasting (2014-18) – assesses the BBC television services, ITV and STV, Channel 4, Channel 5 and S4C, as well as the contribution that other broadcasters, audio and on-demand services have made to the PSB objectives.

Separately, it has also published a five-year review of Channel 4’s performance in meeting its media content duties.

The review’s publication and supporting data is designed to help inform Ofcom’s wider programme of work on the future of PSB – Small Screen: Big Debate.

Small Screen: Big Debate takes a different approach from Ofcom’s previous PSB reviews.  Its purpose is to provoke a broad and dynamic national conversation involving viewers, the broadcasting industry, Parliament, and regulators about how the benefits of PSB might best be assured for the future.

Ofcom’s document summarises how audiences’ habits and the context for PSB has changed. New research, industry events and an upcoming conference will consider: what PSB should deliver; how it should be delivered and funded; and what regulatory and policy tools may be needed in the future. We are also examining how PSB and the wider broadcasting industry can support a thriving and increasingly diverse UK creative economy.

Separately Ofcom has launched a competition, in partnership with the Financial Times, to encourage young people to contribute to Small Screen: Big Debate by sharing their creative ideas on the future of TV.

For a chance to win a £100 cash prize and see their work published in the FT, Ofcom is calling on students aged 16-18 to submit a blog-post or video on how traditional broadcasters and streaming services can appeal to the audiences of tomorrow.

The deadline for entries is April 9th 2020.


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