Ofcom to review Channel 4 funding position in face of potential deficit

Ofcom is to review broadcaster Channel 4’s financial position over the next 12 months, taking into account the “changing nature of broadcasting”, the media regulator has confirmed.

Ofcom is to review broadcaster Channel 4’s financial position over the next 12 months, taking into account the “changing nature of broadcasting”, the media regulator has confirmed.

Channel 4 has been battling for a share of Government funding for its programming, with the channel’s chief executive Andy Duncan arguing that the broadcaster faces a &£100m deficit if it does not receive state aid.

Ofcom will also commission further research into local television and other digital content and services, such as those offered by broadcaster ITV across the Meridian TV region. Both pledges accord with its remit to look at future developments in public service broadcasting, one of nine priorities outlined this week in its 2006/2007 annual plan.

The nine priorities have been “broadly supported” by stakeholders who replied to proposals in the eight-week consultation period.

The media regulator, which has set itself a budget of &£129.5m for the year to March 2007, says it will also seek to influence the way that European Union regulatory policy evolves, particularly the forthcoming EU directive on TV and other audio-visual content, as well as the international spectrum negotiations.

Other priorities include: looking at further spectrum releases and auctions; implementing a strategic review of telecommunications; continued deregulation; understanding how the next generation of telecoms networks are evolving and their regulatory implications; content delivery; protection of citizens and consumers; and availability and access.

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