Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Promoting children's TV production

With the results of Ofcom's review of Children's TV pending, in The Guardian, Maggie Brown considers the possible recommendations.
Ofcom sees fixing children's television as part of a broader package for all public service content. Behind the scenes it is working on refining a scheme for contestable funding with a new mission statement: "long-term transferable funding".

Under this proposal, programmes could be financed via a new model akin to the BBC World Service, or Teachers' TV, which are government-funded. Alternatively, strands such as news or drama could be franchised out to a number of suppliers, who could be invited to bid - but marketing and scheduling would be critical. A proposal from Channel 4 for older children had been virtually mothballed - but this could rescue it. Channel Five has offered more children's programming, and even a new digital channel, if Ofcom would provide free spectrum. But there remains a big question - where will the money for contestable funding come from: the BBC, the digital surplus assets, spectrum freed up after digital switchover, or an industry levy?

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