Ofcom secures support for PSP plans

Ofcom says its Public Service Publisher (PSP) proposal has received “positive” feedback from the majority of respondents to its initial consultation. The creation of the PSP, which is backed by Ofcom chief executive Ed Richards and Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell, would be used to plug a £300m anticipated shortfall in public service programming.

The media regulator claims digital switchover will lead to an insufficient provision of public service content from and for TV and has proposed the PSP as a solution.

The document, which assesses the potential of digital media in delivering public-service audio-visual content to UK citizens, received a total of 76 responses following the launch of the consultation in January.

The majority agreed online delivery will be a new way of accessing public service content while the overall consensus was supported the case for intervention. Respondents also voiced concerns over the likelihood of the online market delivering sufficient socially valuable content.

However, there was no consensus on the required scale or source of potential funding.

The regulator has suggested a series of seminars for online investors and broadcasters to debate the PSP. It has commissioned an external review to assess the economic impact of market intervention. Ofcom also aims to provide further analysis on what sort of content the PSP should provide.

Results will be fed into the next public service broadcaster review, which is scheduled to begin in autumn.

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