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Ofcom sets out series of measures for the future of PSBs

Regulator has launched a national debate on the future of PSBs

Ofcom has announced a range of measures it hopes will help British public services broadcasters (PSB) in the ongoing battle against the FAANGs.

The measures include updating the rules that ensure traditional PSB TV channels are prominent and easy to find within on-screen programme guides. This will safeguard the positions of BBC One, BBC Two, ITV, STV, Channel 4, S4C and Channel 5. Ofcom has also set minimum levels of prominence for other BBC channels – such as CBeebies and BBC News – and local TV services.

The regulator has also identified a need for high-quality kids programming, particularly for older children – and for more shows that help children understand the world, and reflect their diverse lives on screen.

Ofcom has also announced the launch of a national debate on the future of PSBs, titled Small Screen: Big Debate.

It will involve a series of discussions with broadcasters, production companies, government, Parliament, industry bodies, viewers’ groups and national and regional representatives on the wider questions around sustaining PSB in future.

Ofcom said the debate will need to address questions such as where PSB content should be available in future; who should provide it; and how to guarantee a mix of high-quality UK content online.

The regulator plans to publish its assessment of the state of PSB, and how it has performed over the period 2014 to 2018, by the end of 2019.