Ofcom publishes five-year review of public service broadcasting

27 February 2020

We have today published a review of how public service broadcasting (PSB) has delivered for UK audiences over a five-year period between 2014 and 2018.

As part of our responsibility as a regulator, Ofcom reviews the performance of the PSB channels – BBC, ITV and STV, Channel 4, Channel 5 and S4C.

Separately, we have also published a five-year review of Channel 4’s performance.

Informing the debate on the future of PSB

Today’s publication and supporting data is designed to help inform work on the future of PSB – Small Screen: Big Debate.

Small Screen: Big Debate takes a different approach from our previous PSB reviews. Its purpose is to provoke a national conversation involving viewers, the broadcasting industry, Parliament, and regulators about how the benefits of PSB might be assured for the future.

Our document summarises how audiences’ habits and the landscape for PSB have changed. New research, industry events and an upcoming conference will look at: what PSB should deliver; how it should be delivered and funded; and what regulatory and policy tools may be needed in the future. We are also examining how PSB and the wider broadcasting industry can support a thriving and increasingly diverse UK creative economy.

New website to support the debate

We have today launched a dedicated website – www.smallscreenbigdebate.co.uk. This includes Ofcom and third-party research, and other materials related to the future of PSB.

The site will allow people to join the conversation and share their views to help inform our consultation in the summer. It will also include video of insights shared during events we are holding across the UK.

Engaging young people on the future of TV

We have also today launched a competition, in partnership with The Financial Times, to encourage young people to contribute to Small Screen: Big Debate by sharing their creative ideas on the future of TV.

For a chance to win a £100 cash prize and see their work published in the FT, we are calling on students aged 16 to 18 to submit a blog post or short video setting out how they think traditional broadcasters and streaming services can appeal to the audiences of tomorrow.

The deadline for entries is 9 April 2020. More information, including the competition’s terms and conditions, is available on our website.