Insights Ofcom proposes changes to its Public Service Broadcasting Tracker Survey


Ofcom is seeking views on its proposal to temporarily suspend the PSB Tracker Survey for the remainder of 2020. It intends to recommence the survey in 2021 in a revised form, following the completion of its review focused on the future of PSB.

Ofcom’s PSB Tracker is designed to measure public opinion on how well the BBC’s channels, and the main channels of ITV, STV, Channel 4, Channel 5 and S4C, meet each of the relevant PSB purposes and characteristics. The survey also covers a range of other PSB-related topics, including viewing habits, overall satisfaction, and use of PSB website and catch-up services.

The Tracker’s current methodology uses a 50/50 split of face-to-face and online fieldwork. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, Ofcom has suspended face-to-face fieldwork on all surveys, and says that it is unlikely that it will be able to conduct research in this way in the near future. Additionally, the impact of Covid-19 on viewing habits means that data gathered this year is likely to be an anomaly when evaluating long-term trends. In place of the 2020 Tracker, Ofcom says that it will use the range of research that explores peoples’ relationship with the PSBs that it has commissioned as part of “Small Screen: Big Debate”. To access the proposals, click here.