In a speech to the Royal Television Society, the Secretary of State has detailed the Government’s commitment to decentralise broadcasting to increase localisation.
With political power increasingly being devolved to locally elected politicians, it makes sense, he says, for a network of local media stations to evolve in order to reflect the strong desire for locally focused coverage.
The new landscape
Mr Hunt outlined a vision of a network of local, cross-platform multimedia TV services which would
- broadcast for as little as an hour a day
- be free to affiliate with each other to bring down costs
- be able to offer nationwide deals to advertisers
- piggyback on existing national networks, including broadband infrastructure
- exploit new technologies such as Canvas, YouView and mobile TV
The Government’s role
The Government will encourage the development of this new local landscape by
- removing all the local cross-media ownership rules
- redefining ‘public service broadcasting’ to emphasise local content
- legislating to clarify which public service broadcasters should be listed on the front page of electronic programme guides and their online equivalents
- working with the BBC to encourage partnership with local media providers