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01/02/2010

Proposed STV Indie Status 'Rejected'

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The trade body for independent producers, has rejected the call by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to reclassify STV to gain independent production company status.
They said that it would not only damage the Scottish independent sector but result in negligible benefit for the broadcaster.
In its submission to the DCMS consultation on the potential reclassification of production companies owned by Channel 3 licence holders, Pact shows that STV has already got a number of competitive advantages over Scottish independents and granting STV independent status would displace commissions from other, typically smaller Scottish independents while making little difference to STV's business.
Chief Executive for Pact John McVay said: "STV have argued that without indie status they are restricted from winning network programme commissions, yet they are already winning commissions from the full range of broadcasters, including all the PSB broadcasters.
"Our research shows that STV has considerable potential for growth without gaining independent status, and the damage to struggling Scottish indies far outweighs the minimal benefits it looks to achieve," he said.
McVay said that the DCMS's impact assessment for the review estimated that a change in status would enable STV to generate just an additional £400,000 in network commissions.
He concluded: "This negligible gain would be at the much greater expense of smaller Scottish indies.
"Not only would STV be unfairly competing for commissions with those indies, they will be competing in one of the region's key genres, factual, a core STV genre and one which makes up over 80% of Scottish indies' commissions.
"Changing the status will bring nothing to the region but will damage an already fragile industry."
(BMcN/BMcC)
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