Public Service Broadcasting

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport written question – answered on 28th September 2021.

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Photo of Matthew Offord Matthew Offord Conservative, Hendon

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if she will make an assessment of the potential merits of requiring publicly funded broadcasters to provide all entertainment content on free to access digital platforms 10 years after first transmission.

Photo of Julia Lopez Julia Lopez Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office), Minister of State

The government is supportive of a modern system of public service broadcasting (PSB) that remains relevant and can continue to meet the needs of UK audiences in the future.

Ensuring that content is universally available on a free-to-air basis is a core tenet of PSB, and the government is committed to ensuring this remains the case. This means that PSB content should be delivered via technologies that are commonly available, familiar to audiences, and offer a high-quality viewing experience.

As independent organisations, the UK’s two publicly funded broadcasters – the BBC and S4C – are responsible for negotiating the length of time for which entertainment content is available on their platforms with producers and other rights holders. At present, the BBC allows access to most of its programmes for at least one year on the BBC iPlayer and S4C allows access to its programmes for up to 150 days on Clic.

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