ITV has written to Ofcom warning that legislation needs a radical and urgent update for the online era if the Public Service Media (PSM) system is to continue to deliver for UK viewers.
As part of its submission for Ofcom’s Small Screen: Big Debate consultation, the broadcaster ITV said it is possible to promote a thriving national PSM ecology alongside the global platforms, but only if policymakers are bold and ambitious in pursuing timely reform.
ITV set out five areas where it says Ofcom and the government need to act in order to future-proof public service media.
They include the establishment of a new PSM operator regime overseen by Ofcom to replace the current system based on the 2003 Communications Act.
ITV is also calling for a more agile and flexible regulatory regime to reflect the rapid changes in technology, markets and viewer behaviour.
A new settlement between PSB providers and platforms that distribute broadcast, streamed or on-demand content from their content, to ensure prominence, inclusion and fair value, is also among ITV’s suggestions.
The broadcaster said the prominence it enjoys in EPGs “isn’t enough on its own if global platforms can use their financial muscle to squeeze the value out of PSM investments.” It wants a more agile and flexible regulatory regime to reflect the rapid changes in technology, markets and viewer behaviour.
“Ofcom and the DCMS need to work hand in glove in coming months to develop practical proposals for a regime for PSM that can be taken forward rapidly,” added ITV’s submission. “Whilst it may not be practical for the legislation enshrining the new system to pass all its parliamentary stages before Ofcom has to report to the Secretary of State, it is critical there is a clear statement by government of its settled intentions this year – most obviously via a detailed White Paper, leading to legislation on the future of PSM in 2022 at the latest.”