In this review we have focused on how to ensure the delivery of content which fulfils public purposes and meets the interests of citizens and consumers throughout the UK. Our aim has been to make recommendations that respond to the huge changes brought about by the transition to the digital era.
The central question is how a historically strong and successful public service broadcasting system can navigate from its analogue form to a new digital model. We need to sustain its quality and creative spirit while also capturing the opportunities of broadband distribution, mobility and interactivity.
Our recommendations are based on detailed audience research, a wide range of views from stakeholders within industry and our own analysis. The recommendations we present to government and Parliament set out what we believe is required to fulfil a vision of diverse, vibrant and engaging public service content enjoyed across a range of digital media, which complements a flourishing and expansive market sector. In summary, we believe that the four top priorities are:
We recognise also the value of choice in public service content for children and in the devolved nations. If these needs cannot be met sufficiently by these recommendations then:
Decisions on many of these matters are needed within the next year, as the current model of commercial public service broadcasting is clearly no longer sustainable.
We recognise that difficult choices will need to be made about the use of scarce resources. These priorities will need to be considered alongside other potential requirements to fulfil the interests of citizens and consumers in the digital age. These include promoting the availability and take-up of broadband.
Consultation: Ofcom’s Second Public Service Broadcasting Review Phase 2: preparing for the digital future
Annex 6: Assessing the value of public service programming on ITV1, Channel 4 and Five
Annex 7: The future of Public Service Broadcasting A deliberative research report by Opinion Leader
Annex 10: Investigation of business models for content in the online children’s and local and regional market
Annex 14: Approaches to Public Service Investment and Competition in the Cultural Sector