Inquiry to look at regulation, funding and content in a digital age
The DCMS Committee has unveiled an inquiry into the future of public service broadcasting – days after Ofcom opted to put its review on hold.
The committee, chaired by Conservative MP Julian Knight, has issued a call for submissions to examine how public service broadcasting is funded, the content offered and how it is regulated, compared with alternative subscription, streaming services and Freeview channels.
The inquiry has been set up following several BBC-related developments, including the government consultation on decriminalising licence fee evasion and the cost implications of the BBC funding licences for some over-75s.
The financial implications facing the BBC, including the potential for cuts to services, will form part of the examination of funding models.
Other areas to be debated include whether the current obligations placed on the PSBs are proportionate to the benefits they receive, how to protect representation in the event of changes to the PSB model and what public service broadcasting looks like in a digital age.
Knight’s committee has requested written submissions of fewer than 3,000 words by 30 April.
Earlier this week, Ofcom suspended the consultation on its five-yearly PSB review to allow the industry to focus on “business-critical matters” as it grapples with the coronavirus pandemic.
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