Update published 3 July 2019
Ofcom’s review of children’s content focused on how the UK’s public service broadcasters (PSBs) deliver a range of programmes to children at a time of changing audience habits and children’s increasing viewing of videos on-demand and online.
The review set out to assess how we might use the new power provided in the Digital Economy Act 2017 (DEA), which gave Ofcom a power to publish criteria for the provision of children’s programming and, if appropriate, to set related conditions (e.g. quotas) on the licensed public service channels (Channel 3 services, Channel 4 and Channel 5).
We carried out a review of the commercial PSBs’ children’s programmes on TV and online and published our findings in July 2018. We identified three main areas of concern about the level of programming for children and teenagers, and asked ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5 to respond by the end of March 2019. The commercial PSBs communicated their plans to Ofcom by 31 March 2019, and provided written responses when plans were finalised.
Here we provide our response to these plans, summarising our view of the plans and next steps. The original responses from the commercial PSBs are provided alongside and commercially confidential information has been redacted.