Thursday, September 15, 2016

News in brief

The new draft framework agreement, published alongside the new draft Royal Charter, has some interesting bits and bobs.

The deal to provide commercial local tv companies with content seems to run just till 2020. The BBC must conduct a review of how the extension of the licence fee to watching anything broadcast live on any device is working by 2020, and come to an opinion on the need, or otherwise, for a sign-in related to licence fee payment.

The BBC must spend £254m a year on The World Service til 2021/22. The BBC must continue to provide BBC Monitoring, but there's no published fixed sum or guarantee.

The big next thing to look for is Ofcom's first BBC operating licence, and there are interesting strictures placed on Sharon White's team...

In imposing the regulatory conditions in the first operating licence, Ofcom must seek to increase the current requirements on the BBC as a whole to secure the provision of more distinctive output and services....

Ofcom must have particular regard to the desirability of setting or changing requirements.... to secure an appropriate balance of unique titles and long-running series both in peak viewing time and other times.

Ofcom must have particular regard to the desirability of setting or changing requirements

(a) to improve focus on promoting UK talent, particularly new UK acts, on Radio 1 and Radio 2;
(b) to ensure Radio 1 and Radio 2 music output in particular is more distinct from those of other broadcasters, taking into account number of plays not just size of playlist at both peak listening and other times; 
(c) to increase the amount of news, information, current affairs and social action issues on Radio 1 and Radio 2, particularly at peak listening time; 
(d) to broaden sports coverage, to better support sports which currently receive less broadcast coverage. 

Ofcom must consider the case for clearer average age targets for the mainstream radio services.

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