Page last updated at 17:51 GMT, Monday, 24 November 2008

'Too little' TV made in regions

Channel 4 quiz Countdown
Too many shows made outside of London are quiz shows or sport

Too few television shows in the UK are being produced outside London, according to a report.

About 64% of programmes originated in London last year, said the report, from independent trade body Pact and development agency Scottish Screen.

Wales only accounted for 99 hours of television in 2007, it added, down from 119 hours in 2006.

The BBC said last month it intended to boost the amount of programming made outside London to 50% by 2016.

More needed

The Pact report said production in many other English regions had also dropped, and that much of what was being made was low-cost, high-volume programming such as quiz shows and sports coverage.

It also found:

  • ITV1 did not source any network programmes from Wales for the second year in a row.
  • Five did not commission any network programming from Northern Ireland in 2007.
  • There was a 45% drop in the amount of television made in the east of England (from 600 hours in 2006 to 332 hours in 2007).

The organisation, which represents independent feature film, television, children's and animation companies, said TV networks had to do more to get programmes made outside of London.

"The dramatic decline in network programming outside of London in the last few years is hugely detrimental not only to the industry but to the UK public, who are missing out on an enormous pool of talent," said Dawn Simpson, who heads Pact's Out Of London team.

"While we welcome the BBC's Out of London strategy, it should not be left entirely to them. We would like to see Channel 4 make a similar commitment in order to truly fulfil their public service broadcasting obligations."

is absolutely no barrier to ITV programming coming from any part of the UK
ITV statement

Last month, the BBC said it was going to create commissioning units in Glasgow, Cardiff, Belfast, London, Bristol, Salford/Manchester and Birmingham.

"Our intention is nothing less than changing the very DNA of the BBC to bring the production of programmes closer to the audience we serve," said director of BBC Vision Jana Bennett.

"That means permanently increasing the production and commissioning of programmes outside London."

An ITV spokesman said: "There is absolutely no barrier to ITV programming coming from any part of the UK. We treat all production companies, throughout the UK, equally in terms of giving them a firm indication of what kind of programming we are looking for."

Five also responded to the Pact report, saying: "Five has Ofcom-set targets of 10% by value and 10% by hours for all new commissions to be made outside of the M25.

"We have consistently exceeded these targets."

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