[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Tuesday, 8 February, 2005, 07:56 GMT
Ofcom outlines future of Welsh TV
ITV logo

The broadcasting regulator Ofcom has announced its proposals for broadcasting in Wales.

Among the proposals are a slight reduction in the number of hours ITV Wales will have to produce.

It has also recommended that there be greater clarity in the relationship between the BBC and S4C.

Ofcom outlined a set of three proposals for the future of S4C as part of a two-month-long consultation period.

The Ofcom review has been prompted by the new age of digital television.

It examines how public service broadcasting can survive in the world of multi-channel television.

The report looks better for ITV Wales than had been feared.

It recommends that much more of ITV's network programmes - 50% - must be produced outside London.

And so that may create an opportunity for ITV Wales to win new commissions for new programmes, bringing with them new jobs.

The situation in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland is considered to be substantially different to the English regions.

The minimum non-news requirement in England will be reduced from three to 1.5 hours per week.

This will be further reduced to 0.5 hours per week, when digital switchover occurs, expected to be in 2012.

Digital switchover

In Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland however, the minimum non-news requirement will be four hours.

This will reduce to three hours when any one of the three nations achieves digital switch-over.

Wales is currently ahead of the rest of the UK in terms of the percentage of households with digital television.

There are three options regarding S4C, with a competitive tender model Ofcom's preferred option.

The first option is keeping things pretty much as they are, although there would be a review of certain aspects of the relationship between S4C and the BBC.

Ofcom would like "greater transparency" in the relationship, including a possible review of both the financial arrangements and the current agreement for the BBC to supply 10 hours of programmes a week..

The second - and the option least favoured by Ofcom - is bringing S4C under the wing of the BBC.

A third option is that the S4C authority could remain in place but with a competitive tendering model for the provision of Welsh-language services.

However, this is the start of the debate on the provision of Welsh-language services, with the final proposals on the future of S4C expected in May or June.


SEE ALSO:
Q&A: Public service broadcasting
30 Sep 04 |  Entertainment
The reality of ITV's new dawn
14 Oct 03 |  Entertainment
BBC 'should sell radio archive'
16 Sep 04 |  Entertainment
Digital switch delayed until 2012
22 Jul 04 |  Entertainment


RELATED BBC LINKS:

RELATED INTERNET LINKS:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific