Page last updated at 06:01 GMT, Thursday, 10 April 2008 07:01 UK

Public funding idea for ITV Wales

TV set
The regulator wants to keep diversity in local news sources

ITV Wales may need government funding if it is to continue providing news services in the long term, broadcasting regulator Ofcom has said in a review.

It said it was important viewers and listeners had a variety of strong news and current affairs made in Wales.

However, there were "significant challenges" for the commercial sector in a fast-changing media environment.

But Ofcom said BBC Wales and S4C should remain the cornerstone of Welsh public service broadcasting.

The report found there was a danger that growing commercial pressures could mean the pair were left as the only providers public service broadcasting, and the regulator wants to avoid that.

In the short to medium term, it said prioritising ITV Wales' public service obligations as part of the wider ITV network could be enough to secure its future.

But in the long term, one of the options it says may have to be considered is direct financial support, from either the assembly or UK governments.

That would bring its own problems, including independence, but the director of Ofcom Wales, Rhodri Williams, said it was vital that a high quality variety of news and current affairs programmes were sustained in the long term.


SEE ALSO
ITV to merge regional newsrooms
12 Sep 07 |  Business
BBC Wales' 'faster' digital move
29 Jun 07 |  South West Wales

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