EBU Director General, Ingrid Deltenre, has identified funding and political grasping as more insidious threats to public service broadcasters than the fight to retain spectrum.
“Funding is one part of the big issue,” she said, “It is all about remaining a trusted source, which means editorial independence. When I look at the whole area the EBU covers, funding has an impact on how the broadcaster is going to develop. Is it able to innovate? How is it going to go digital successfully?
“Maximising what the new digital possibilities can deliver in the future helps to establish a much better relationship with the consumer,” Deltenre added. “But the other thing is editorial control. Some national broadcasters have lost market share because of heavy interference by the government that diminishes editorial standards.
“There is a political climate which makes it very hard for public service broadcasters.”
On the matter of spectrum Deltenre is pragmatic. “I am not sure it is a big issue,” she said. “Having enough for terrestrial broadcasting is important, but using spectrum for mobile distribution is as important to broadcasters because audiences expect to access content wherever and whenever.”
- George Jarrett