United Kingdom

New rules to protect “clearly British” public service broadcasts

  • PSB’s new requirement for creating “clearly British” programming is “uncommon, not symbolic.”
  • New “duties” for PSB content on digital platforms

Media Minister John Whittingdale today announced new steps to protect Britain’s own television production and help public broadcasters (PSBs) compete with US streaming giants in the digital age. ..

Shows such as Doctor Who, Downton Abbey, British Bake Off, Top Gear, Bodyguards and Planet Earth were big international hits, but they also reflect British and British values.

In a keynote speech at the Royal Television Society Cambridge Convention, Whittingdale plans to expand the variety of programs that the country’s PSB needs to produce and air to include’unique UK’content. Announced.

In the face of foreign investment and intensifying competition, this move ensures that Britain remains a creative powerhouse of unique, high-quality television shows that introduces British culture and enjoys it around the world. ..

The Media Minister also announced new plans to ensure that PSB content is always carried and found by UK viewers on connected devices and major online platforms (smart TVs, set-top boxes, streaming sticks, etc.). Did. Traditional TV.

Proposals for these measures will be included in the White Paper on Broadcasting, which will be published this fall.

New “British” requirements

The UK PSB currently has a requirement for its mission to broadcast “original” content. This was previously thought to be sufficient to ensure that their programming had a distinctive British aspect.

However, the globalization of broadcasting means that much of the content we watch is set up in non-specific locations or outside the UK, and international casts communicate in US English. This not only makes TVs made in the UK indistinguishable from TVs made elsewhere, making them less relevant to UK viewers, but also minimizing the soft power proven abroad. There is a risk of suppressing it.

Therefore, the Minister added the definition of “original work” and focused the PSB system on content that contributes to British culture and allows British viewers to reflect their way of life and their expressions on television. We are considering making it clearer.

In him speechSaid Whittingdale:

Global investment is welcome, but we want to make sure it doesn’t undermine UK creativity and brand.

Public broadcasting has a unique role to play, and I hope people from all over the UK will continue to produce programs that showcase their lives on the screen and showcase what they are most proud of in the world. To create a symbolic program, not a generic one.

Therefore, the next white paper will include a proposal to expand the authority of public broadcasters. This requires public broadcasters to produce “clearly British” content.

If it is set in the UK and created in the UK by a public service broadcaster, it must be clearly in the UK.

Details will be given in the white paper, but Ofcom prioritizes PSB genre-specific guidance for measuring programs, requirements primarily for using British talent, or the “moments” of national sports and culture. May mean to do. People with us, including Emma Raducanu’s stunning US Open victory.

PSB excellence on digital platforms

Current “prominence” rules stipulate that PSBs must be listed in the first five slots of a television electronic program guide. However, these rules do not apply to TV guides and other user interfaces within the online TV platform.

The Minister will update the rules to ensure that PSB content is legally required to be transmitted between popular online TV platforms such as smart TVs, pay TV services, streaming sticks and set-top boxes.

PSB on-demand services (BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, All 4 and My5, and regional services such as S4C’s Clic and STV Player) should also be easily found in platform user interfaces such as the home page.

This will significantly boost the future sustainability of public broadcasting, allowing UK viewers to continue to access valuable PSB content for years to come, regardless of the platform they watch.

Whittingdale said:

I want to ensure that UK broadcasters get the exposure they deserve, no matter how the content is consumed. Public broadcasting has been a part of our national life for almost a century and is uniquely arranged to reflect our values. It is very important that they are in the center of the television.

Therefore, we will enact the law as soon as possible, making it a legal requirement that major online platforms need to transmit PSB content and make it easy to find.

More details can be found in the white paper (based on recommendations from Ofcom). This is a principle-based approach to prominence that can be adapted proportionally to the future. This could mean Ofcom’s role in creating guidance and having the necessary enforcement power.

Dame Carolyn McCall, Chief Executive Officer of ITV, said:

ITV plays an important role as a PSB and is proud to inform and entertain throughout the UK daily on TV and online. > As people watch TV online, it’s easy to find content from PSB providers on the online platform they use, and commercial PSBs such as ITV and Channel 4 can make a fair profit against it. It is becoming more and more important. content. This is not a market achievement in the world of some global platforms, so we welcome the government’s decision to update the rules of the online era.


Notes to editors

  • Government Public consultation Regarding the possibility of change of ownership of Channel 4, which was closed on Tuesday, September 14th. The government is currently analyzing the responses and has appointed JP Morgan to provide corporate financial advice and analysis to assist in considering changes to Channel 4’s operating model, including ownership, authority and obligations. ..
  • Minister’s speech Without abbreviation.

New rules to protect “clearly British” public service broadcasts

SourceNew rules to protect “clearly British” public service broadcasts

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