Major broadcasters take TV production to the regions, finds new Ofcom report

Major broadcasters take TV production to the regions, finds new Ofcom report

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New Ofcom report shows that major broadcasters have met and exceeded their regional production and programming quotas. 

The results from the register show that the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5 all met their value and volume-based regional production quotes in 2017. 

To be considered a regional production, Ofcom requires that productions to either be based outside of the M25, spend at least 70% of their budget outside the M25, or ensure that at least 50% of the production talent come from outside of London.

The results, part of Ofcom's regional production and programming guidance review, show that a total of 933 titles broadcast by PSBs in 2017 qualified as made outside London programming.

The industry has faced criticism for limiting many job opportunities to the London area, preventing people from pursuing jobs in television in their regions.

Former Culture Secretary Karen Bradley, speaking at last year's RTS Cambridge Convention, noted, "Pact has found that just 32% of the £2bn budget for UK productions was spent outside London and supported only 35% of the jobs."

"British television is strong because it is diverse and will become stronger, still, the more diverse it becomes," she continued. "TV must reflect the real world, the country we live in. It must also be measured by how well different communities are represented on and off screen, by differences in pay, and whether the industry is flourishing in every part of our nations and regions."

"Decisions about its programming should not all be made in the bubble of Westminster. People seeking to work in the media should not feel they have to move to London."

The comments were made in response to the decision to move Channel 4 outside of London.

Earlier this year, Channel 4 reached an agreement with the government to move 300 of their 800 staff to a new city, while keeping their HQ in London. At the time of the announcement, Channel 4 only had 30 of their current staff based outside of London.

Find Ofcom’s full register of programme titles made outside of London here.

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New Ofcom report shows that major broadcasters have met and exceeded their regional production and programming quotas.