Regional TV production and programming

Published: 15 February 2021
Last updated: 16 March 2023

Television production outside of London is a crucial part of the UK’s television production sector. It helps to disperse and stimulate investment and job opportunities in the sector throughout the UK. It also benefits viewers by ensuring a diverse range of programmes and editorial perspectives.

To help promote TV production in the nations and regions, Ofcom imposes quotas on the public service broadcasters (‘PSBs’; BBC, Channel 3 services, Channel 4 and Channel 5), to ensure that a suitable proportion of their network programmes are made outside of the M25.

The BBC and Channel 3 services also have quotas to broadcast localised programmes, including regional news, across different areas of the UK (‘regional programming’), and a suitable proportion of these should be made in the local area.

To assist the PSBs in meeting these obligations we have published guidance. This guidance explains:

  • our definitions of regional productions and regional programming
  • how we expect the PSBs to comply with their quotas
  • how productions should be allocated to particular geographic areas
  • how we monitor compliance with the obligations.

See our guidance for titles broadcast before 2021 (PDF, 67.0 KB).

See our guidance for titles broadcast from 2021 (PDF, 265.7 KB).

Review of guidance

In 2017, we launched a review of the guidance to ensure it remains effective in today’s programme-making landscape.

Statement: Review of regional TV production and programming guidance (June 2019)

Call for evidence: Review of regional TV production and programming guidance (March 2018)

Each year we publish a Made outside London programme titles register which details which productions the PSBs have counted towards their regional production quotas.

For information about the PSBs’ regional production and programming obligations, alongside other obligations, see PSB annual compliance reports.

Complaints about the PSBs’ compliance with their regional production and regional programming obligations are dealt with under our General procedures for investigating breaches of broadcast licences (PDF, 296.7 KB).

We have a separate set of procedures for matters related to the BBC. These are our Procedures for enforcement of requirements in the BBC Agreement and compliance with Ofcom enforcement action (PDF, 234.2 KB).

See how to make a complaint related to regional production and regional programming.

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