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What does the future hold for commercial broadcasters? Lords to ask Sky


On Tuesday 14 May the House of Lords Communications Committee will question representatives from Sky and the Commercial Broadcasters Association (COBA) as well as trade associations for TV and film production companies Pact and Indie Club. The evidence sessions will inform the Committee's ongoing inquiry into public service broadcasting (PSB) in the age of video on demand.

The Committee will firstly question Sky and COBA. The Committee will hear Sky and COBA's view on the changing media landscape.

The evidence session will begin at 3.30pm in Committee Room 2 of the House of Lords and the Committee will question:

  • Alistair Law, Head of Policy, UK and Ireland, Sky
  • Adam Minns, Executive Director, COB

Questions the Committee are likely to ask include:

  • Do the decline in audience numbers and reach, and the rise of online advertising, pose an existential threat to commercial broadcasters?
  • Does regulation provide a level playing-field between SVODs and commercial non-public service broadcasters?
  • Should commercial broadcasters and SVODs be incentivised to produce more content which fulfils a public purpose, such as through tax credits or contestable funding?
  • Why have Netflix and Amazon Prime proved so popular with viewers?

In the second session beginning at 4.30pm, the Committee will then hear from Pact and Indie Club. Pact is the UK's leading trade association for film, TV, animation, children's and digital production companies. It leads industry initiatives, such as negotiating the Terms of Trade, a standard contract for PSBs and production companies. Indie Club was recently founded and represents the interests of production companies outside London.

  • Charles Lauder, Chief Executive Officer, Indie Club
  • John McVay OBE, Chief Executive Officer, Pact

Topics likely to be covered across both sessions include:

  • Is there a shortage of production staff and capacity? If so, what interventions might be necessary to support the production sector?
  • Has there been an inflation in production costs and, if so, why and in which specific areas of production?
  • What more could public service broadcasters do to encourage independent production companies to work with them?
  • Are public service broadcasters doing enough to appeal to and represent the regions and nations of the UK, including supporting local production?

Are public service broadcasters doing enough to appeal to and represent the regions and nations of the UK, including supporting local production?

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