Broadcast News

Bookmark and Share


COMMUNICATIONS should be subject primarily to competition law and free of regulatory intervention except where public interest principles are at stake, said the ITC’s Chief Executive, Patricia Hodgson.
Delivering the annual ITN, European Media Forum (EMF) lecture, she said: “We should be reluctant to regulate, preferring competition and as much certainty for business as possible.”
She said communications markets tend to be characterised by a few large players, who control networks and gateways, and give preference to their own services rather than allowing competitors to reach the consumers. She added: “If access terms are right, the underlying structure of the market needn’t concern us. Competition can do its work.”
Turning to broadcast standards, Hodgson said that competition is a necessary but not sufficient condition for the range, quality and standard of broadcasting society expects. Without it, we would not have a booming new media sector, serving a wider range of interests better than ever before.
Hodgson said that spending on landmark programmes, such as ‘History of Britain’ or ‘Touch of Frost’, depended on attracting large audiences, something best achieved so far by “national networks with the privileges of free or cheap spectrum, special places on programme guides and well established brands”.
Britain invests a great deal in public service broadcasting. They devote a bigger share of resources to their public service networks, to BBC1 and 2, ITV and Channels 4 and 5, than any other nation.
“If you add the BBC licence fee together with the opportunity cost of spectrum and of commercial schedules that don’t only chase ratings," she said, "Britain maybe subsidising public service to the tune of £3.5 to £4 billion a year in broad terms. Are we getting the cultural return we have a right to expect, as tax payers as well as viewers and listeners?”
Hodgson said public service broadcasters should be free to manage their own businesses but regulation “should keep them honest” and added that the ITC had developed three initiatives to simplify this part of regulation to ensure it was effective.
Firstly, the ITC had undertaken research into what audiences say they want from public service. Secondly, licensees had been asked to prepare rolling annual statements of how they deliver their public service remits. And, thirdly, the ITC would report back on what the licensees say in the context of audience judgements and an objective, fact based assessment of what the industry as a whole offers audiences.
With this amount of public money being spent, accountability is a key area of concern, Hodgson said: “We can and should rely on broadcasters to manage their own business, providing they’re accountable; providing there’s independent and objective data to keep them honest, and providing over time, if remits aren’t met, there are effective powers to ensure they are.”
The BBC would, as they are now, be the basis of the system and BBC1 the core. “The BBC must provide a sure foundation if public service is to survive. Guaranteed public funding makes that possible. When we decide to mould the market, that’s where we should begin”.
The ITC’s Chief Executive concluded by saying that Ofcom would need to manage the tensions between supporting competition and delivering public service objectives. She said these were “decisions for citizens and their representatives. To duck them would leave a democratic deficit. Parliament must establish its priorities. Ofcom’s role is to apply them.” (CD)
Solidmate Ltd Memory Card Hire London

Top Related Stories
Click here for the latest broadcast news stories.

Gearhouse Broadcast Makes Two Key Sales Appointments
Gearhouse Broadcast has made two key sales appointments in North America as part of its growth strategy in the region. Based in Gearhouse Broadcast US
dB Broadcast Helps Lay Foundations For A Digital Future
dB Broadcast has announced the completion of a key part of a connectivity transition project that transforms the way the BBC provides and manages its
Commedia To Demonstrate Advanced Network Optimisation Solutions at Broadcast India
Commedia – who were recently named a Bridge Technologies business partner for the country - will present Bridge Technologies' extensive range of solut
Astucemedia Bridging Gap Between Broadcast Graphics
Astucemedia, leaders in bridging the gap between broadcast graphics, creative design and data integration, demonstrated its new Interactive and AR Foo
BMS Partners With Broadcast Solutions GmbH
BMS and Broadcast Solutions GmbH have announced a partnership that will combine the strengths of both companies to provide more comprehensive solution
ES Broadcast Hire Invests In Sony Equipment
ES Broadcast Hire has announced a significant investment in Sony equipment. The news was revealed at IBC2017, and the investment involves Sony 4K HDR
Presteigne Broadcast Expands Facilities
Presteigne Broadcast Hire has announced it has taken on an additional 21,000 square feet of warehouse, service, and operations space following a recen
Drama and Long-Form Equipment Hire Services
Are you filming a project with a shooting schedule of 10 days or longer? If you are, then check out our unbeatable deal for long-form filming. We are
MTF Services Partners With LockCircle
MTF Broadcast Services has announced a partnership agreement with Italian cine brand LockCircle. Since 2001, LockCircle has been producing high-end pr
MTF Services Join Fujinon For Open Day
MTF Services recently teamed up with Fujinon for an open day event held at Cherry Duck Studios in London to demonstrate the launch of the recent conve
Production News : A Night For The Emergency Services
ITV has commissioned a one-off special this Christmas, A Night For The Emergency Services. The special, hosted by Ashley Banjo and Diversity, will fea
Production News : Production Guild Of Great Britain Enhances Member Services
The Production Guild of Great Britain has enhanced its online member services as part of its new website, it has been announced. The enhancements are
Testronic Expands Global Translation Services
Testronic has announced it is expanding its translation services due to a growing international demand. With services now available for more than 40 l
Spot & Spin To Launch Pay-As-You-Go Content Management Services At NAB
Spot & Spin is to launch its range of pay-as-you-go content management services at the the 2017 NAB Show in Las Vegas. "Spot & Spin gives film and tel
SMPTE Unveil 2017 NAB Services
The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) has unveiled details of the events and resources it is offering at the 2017 NAB Show ne