Ofcom Recommends Splitting Licence Fee Among Channels

by | 10 April 2008

The licence fee could be split among commercial channels under new proposals from media watchdog Ofcom.

As Ofcom launched its review of public service broadcasting (PSB), it emerged that dwindling audience figures and a drop in spending by ITV and Channel 4 has left their financial futures "uncertain".

The rise of digital TV - 90 per cent of UK households now use the medium - and a greater amount of time spent online, especially among 16- to 24-year-olds, has led to a fall in public service channels' share of viewing, despite heavy investment.

And among the suggestion to redress the balance and provide competition to the BBC's provision of PSB, the Ofcom review recommends four possible outcomes for the future of public service channels, including an 'evolutionary' model, which would see increased public funding or decreased PSB obligations for the commercial channels.

A 'BBC-only' model is only proposed, as is a BBC-Channel 4 PSB coalition of sorts, and the report also suggests allowing a "wide range of providers" to bid for funding to provide PSB competition to the BBC.

According to Ofcom chief executive Ed Richards, public service broadcasting is at a "crossroads" and a new model must be in place by 2011, lest ITV and Channel 4 face a financial challenge to their licencees.

"Viewers still want a mix of high quality UK-made content, but the traditional television model is not enough to meet all their needs," he explained.

"Today's proposals outline options for a securely-funded PSB future. Now is the time for a wide-ranging debate looking carefully and dispassionately at all the options."

10/04/2008 09:45:42


Tags: Channel 4


More Channel 4

Sky Hits Out at David Abraham's "Glaring Inconsistency" over Terrestrial Channels

Sky has hit back at Channel 4's chief executive David Abraham over what the company perceives to be "glaring inconsistency" in his views on retransmission...

Ofcom Clears Channel 4's Benefits Street: Regulator is "Satisfied" With Editorial Justification

Channel 4’s Benefits Street, a documentary surrounding the inhabitants of James Turner Street in Birmingham, has been cleared by the regulator Ofcom after complaints of...

Channel 4 Strikes (Potentially) Important Xbox Deal For 'Real Humans'

Channel 4 has struck a deal with Microsoft's Xbox to remake the Swedish sci-fi drama Real Humans, marking the first time a games console maker...

Is 'Mammon' The New The Killing, Borgen or The Bridge?

With The Killing, Borgen and The Bridge, British television’s been looking and sounding a little Scandinavian as of late, this seems unlikely to change as...


Flood of Complaints Causes 'Benefits Street' Ofcom Investigation

The highly popular, contentious and controversial Channel 4 documentary Benefits Street, which highlights the travails of those living on James Turner Street, Birmingham, is due...

Crime Dramas 'The Fall,' 'Broadchurch' and 'Top of Lake' Dominate Broadcasting Press Guild

'The Fall,' 'Broadchurch' and 'Top of The Lake' - arguably the three biggest dramas of 2013 – have each received four nominations at the Broadcasting...

Gogglebox Moves to Friday Nights, 9pm. And Yes, the Drunk Couple Are Back

'Gogglebox,' the surprise Channel 4 fly-on-the-wall show capturing members of the public as they watch the week's television, is returning for a new series on...

Benefits Street's Second Season Will See A Geographical Change

There’s good news and bad news, for people who think Benefits Street is an exploitative exercise, designed to be divisive in spite of the damage...



Channel 4 Newsletter

Subscribe to this news alert service to receive news and reviews on Channel 4

Unsubscribe | Unsubscribe All