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Channel 4’s Mahon stresses ‘strong ecology’ for PSBs in fight against streamers

Mahon said PSBs were “guaranteed investors” in British creativity and British programmes

Channel 4 chief executive has again stressed the importance of having a strong ecology for public service broadcasters in the fight against Netflix and Amazon.

Speaking to the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) Committee, Mahon said PSBs were “guaranteed investors” in British creativity and British programmes.

Speaking about Channel 4’s involvement in ‘British Netflix’ Britbox, Mahon said: “I do think it’s important we work together as public service broadcasters, and I think it’s important that we put our toe in the water with SVoDs.”

“I think it’s important we have that as British content together in a market. We have seen the immense investment of Netflix and others in market, and we do see that as an increasing proportion of consumers’ video time. I think it’s incredibly important the public service broadcasting ecology here stays strong because we are guaranteed to be continual investors in British creativity and British production companies.”

Mahon said she couldn’t say too much about the plans for Brtibox, as commercial negotiations are still ongoing, but she told the Committee, “we continue to be in discussions with ITV and with BBC about it and I’m very supportive of us as public service broadcasters working together.”

Channel 4 chair Charles Gurassa discussed Ofcom’s recent series of measures which it hopes will help public service broadcasters in the battle with the streaming services: “Not only is it important that we work together, but it’s important that we are available and prominent and that people can find us, because as more and more people move to video on demand, catch up, the platforms through which you access them are not the traditional, old-style electronic programme guides in which you switch on the first page and there was BBC One, BBC Two, ITV, Channel 4.

“We were clearly very supportive of the findings of the recent Ofcom report, which identified in this new world, where more and more people are accessing television through intelligent TVs, internet enabled, Firesticks or whatever it may be, that not just the old-style terrestrial but the video on demand services are prominent and available.”

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