The Future of Public Service Broadcasting: Threats and Opportunities
115 New Cavendish St
Fitzrovia, London W1W
Organised by the Policy Observatory of the Communication and Media Research Institute (CAMRI)
The event is free, but advance registration is required:
4:30pm – 5:00pm: Welcome drinks
5:00pm-7:00pm: Panel debate and discussion with the audience
7:00pm – 7:45pm networking drinks reception.
For decades, public service broadcasting has been at the heart of British culture, providing original British drama, trusted news and current affairs, entertainment and original comedy, as well as investing in popular children’s programmes, arts, documentaries and wildlife programmes. Obligations around UK content, diversity, quality and universality have ensured both a thriving creative industry and a range of programming available throughout the UK which reflects British values.
Recent trends in television viewing and production now threaten to undermine the contribution of PSB. A recent report by Ofcom highlights the popularity of new streaming services and their impact on traditional TV consumption, particularly among 16 to 34-year-olds.
While the plethora of new platforms and streaming services offer an unprecedented array of viewing and listening choices, they pose a unique challenge to many of the public policy objectives of PSB. As global content providers, almost all currently located in the United States, they cannot provide the same volume and range of UK content. Moreover, while PSB budgets diminish, the streaming giants continue to invest very large sums of money in new and lavish productions, thereby creating inflationary pressures for talent and production staff based in the UK.
This event will examine some of the urgent policy and regulatory questions being raised by new platforms and new global players in the audiovisual market. In particular:
• What are the particular cultural, economic and democratic contributions of PSBs that are under threat?
• How can they benefit from the new digital environment, in particular in responding to new technologies and new subscription competitors?
• What measures should governments be taking, if any, to protect and promote the national public interest by supporting PSBs?
• What regulatory interventions should be considered to sustain the contribution of PSBs?
• How are these challenges being addressed by European policymakers, and what are the implications of Brexit?
Professor Steven Barnett, CAMRI, University of Westminster;
Mrs. Bérénice Honold, Adviser International Affairs at the German Federal Film Board (FFA);
Mrs Lucile Petit, Head of f Department VOD, Distribution and New Services, at the French regulator Conseil Supérieur De L’Audiovisuel (CSA);
The European Commission, The Audiovisual and Media Services Policy Division of DG Connect (TBC);
Mrs Helen Jay, Deputy Head of Corporate Relations, Channel 4
Dr. Maria Michalis, Deputy-Director of CAMRI, University of Westminster
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