Ofcom to revive PSP, 'rooted in new media'

Philip Graf

Ofcom deputy chairman Philip Graf says the regulator's proposed public service publisher (PSP) needs to be "rooted in the new media".

Graf—who chairs Ofcom's content board, which was recently revamped in order to better focus on digital developments—said the publicly funded PSP would need to "capture the imagination of the 16-24 cohort" since they would be the 22-30 cohort by switchover.

Ofcom is said to be poised to publish a discussion paper on the PSP, the brainchild of Ofcom's chief operating officer Ed Richards, widely tipped to replace Stephen Carter as Ofcom CEO.

In February Richards said the PSP sought to address the "hundreds of millions of pounds" that will "seep out of public service funding" as television transitioned to an all-digital environment.

"We have to ask ourselves as a country if we want to maintain the strong tradition of public service broadcasting," said Richards. "You want a strong and independent, properly funded BBC, a strong Channel 4, and you may want something else as well; that would be a strong public service mixture. It's an idea that's years away but I stand by it. In 10 years' time something like that will have happened."

Meanwhile Ofcom has published the outcome of its review of the television access services code. Main conclusions are:

  • The existing Code should remain broadly unchanged.
  • Awareness of audio description among potential users should be increased, and broadcasters should help by increasing publicity
  • Current arrangements for providing signing on television provide few benefits to sign language users. Ofcom said it "expects to consult on possible alternative arrangements towards the end of this year".

Lovelace Consulting  |  28.09.2006

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