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Is the Government doing enough to support UK TV production? Lords to ask Margot James MP

On Tuesday 9 July the House of Lords Communications Committee will hold its final evidence sessions for its inquiry into the future of public service broadcasters (PSB) in the age of on demand. The committee will question Ofcom and Margot James MP, the Minister for Digital and the Creative Industries.

On 4 July Ofcom published its review of ‘prominence' for public service broadcasting.  It recommended extending the prominence regime beyond TV programme guides to ensure PSB content is easily discoverable on on-demand platforms. In its first session, the committee will ask Ofcom about this and many other issues raised in its inquiry to date. It will also examine Ofcom's priorities for its upcoming review of public service broadcasting and whether Ofcom has sufficient powers to hold PSBs to account where they fail to appeal to particular audiences.

In its second session the committee will hear from the Minister responsible for broadcasting, digital and the creative industries. The committee will explore the Government's view on the BBC licence fee, the impact of Brexit on the regulation of TV-like content and how the Government encourages the development of TV production across the UK.

The first session will start at 3.30pm in Committee Room 2 of the House of Lords. The committee will hear from Kevin Bakhurst, Group Director for Content and Media Policy at Ofcom. Topics for discussion include:

  • Its relationship with the BBC
  • How to define and assess the value of public service broadcasting
  • Whether pay-TV and cable providers should pay public service broadcasters for carrying their content
  • Whether cost inflation has impaired the ability of public service broadcasters to make high-end productions.

The second session with the Minister will begin at 4.30pm. Topics for discussion include:

  • Diversity in the production sector, both on and off screen, and regional production
  • The High-End TV tax relief
  • Regulation of broadcast and online advertising
  • The Apprenticeship Levy in the context of the creative industries.

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