UK media regulator Ofcom has released its recommendations for the future of public broadcasting which includes creating a new approach for UK public service content.
According to the report, the BBC will remain the heart of public broadcasting and, the report clarifies: ‘We do not believe that the top-slicing of funding for the BBC’s programs and services should be considered.’
Still, it recommends that a new alternative with a sustainable economic model is needed. Thus, it states that Channel 4 cannot be maintained on its own and should possibly partner with either BBC Worldwide or Channel Five as the new public service entity. Says the report, ‘The evidence clearly highlights that without replacement funding, the mix of UK public service content will continue to weaken over time.’ The report also warns that in the very near future ‘free-to-air advertising funded broadcasters will face growing pressure to cut back on programming with low or uncertain profitability. Regional news and UK-made children’s programmes are both already under severe pressure. Other genres including current affairs, documentaries (especially about international affairs), UK-made factual programmes in areas such as science and history, and less formulaic and higher risk drama and comedy are also under threat.’
More on Ofcom’s PSB blueprint can be found on Ofcom’s site.