HomeInsightsOfcom consults on the findings from its review of UK public service broadcasting (PSB), “Small Screen: Big Debate”

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Ofcom’s review examines how to strengthen and maintain PSB for the next decade and beyond in the face of unprecedented changes to technology, financing and viewer behaviour.

Ofcom has found that PSB content is still highly valued by audiences, with trusted, accurate news and programmes made about the UK holding particular importance. The public sector broadcasters also play a vital role in underpinning the UK’s creative economy. However, Ofcom says, with funding under pressure and viewers turning away in favour of global streaming services, it found that traditional PSB is unlikely to survive in the online world unless broadcasting laws and regulation are overhauled, and broadcasters accelerate their transformation for the digital age.

The review identifies what a new PSB framework could look like, along with options for a new model for stable funding. It also sets out how new providers could help deliver public-service media in future.

Ofcom has also published updated research from Jigsaw on people’s views towards the value of PSB, along with a Mediatique report on future models for the delivery of PSB.

Ofcom is consulting on questions from its findings until 16 March 2021. It will also carry out further work on the scope and terms of rules that could govern the availability of public-service content. Separately, Ofcom will review the UK production sector, to assess if the current terms remain effective. It will then make final recommendations to Government later in 2021. To access the findings from the “Small Screen: Big Debate review, click here. To access the Jigsaw and Mediatique reports, click here.