Public service broadcasting is facing an existential threat – former president of ITV

The former president of ITV has said that “the public service broadcasting system is certainly facing an existential threat”.

Ir Peter Bazalgette, who recently stepped down as ITV president after six years in the role, delivered a speech discussing the future of public service broadcasters (PSBs) at Listeners’ Jocelyn Hay Lecture & Viewers.

Speaking about the impact of international streaming platforms on PSB – now known as Public Service Media, or PSM, by media watchdog Ofcom – Sir Peter, 69, said: “In a nutshell: , how can PSM survive in an age, the post-network era, when its television services are mostly streamed via foreign-owned internet platforms?

“BBC iPlayer, All4 and the upcoming ITVX all have to negotiate shipping with the likes of Amazon, Apple, Samsung and LG, as well as Sky and Virgin.

“These are all powerful, foreign-owned platforms who can share PSM revenue and retain PSM viewer data, in the largely unregulated sector of the internet.”

Sir Peter also addressed Prime Minister Liz Truss’ opinion about making economic growth a priority in her government.

He questioned how PSBs are expected to provide and contribute to such economic growth if they are not created “a level playing field” to do so.

“We have been told that economic growth is the number one priority of our current government,” he said.

“Don’t forget what I said earlier about PSM’s core role in the display sub-sector, which is rapidly evolving at the moment.

“So the danger here is not just the loss of cultural value but the shortfall in economic growth that PSM can deliver, on a level playing field.”

To emphasize the importance and need for clear terms from the government on the future of PSB, Sir Peter noted that the difficult decision ITV is facing today is whether to assert its position. your license as a PSB or not when the current license expires next year.

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He said: “ITV needs to decide whether to apply for a new PSM license next year to start in 2024. A difficult decision to make when you don’t know what the terms are.

“ITV is in a stronger position than most PSMs because, with a successful international production company and strong cash flow, ITV can choose any commercial and partnership path.

You don’t know what you have until it’s goneSir Peter Bazalgette

“But you think keeping ITV at PSM is in the UK’s interest, continuing to deliver the public good it excels at.”

He then added: “We must all continue to press the government and our colleagues in the DCMS, who understand this, that timing is key.”

Sir Peter, president of the Royal Television Society from 2010 to 2017, also addressed the continuing debate around BBC royalty and acknowledged that “questioning the regressive nature of royalties is legal”.

However, he set aside the main debate and instead asked for “support for hypothetical funding, not for some voluntary enrollment”.

He went on to credit “guaranteed public funding to an organization whose mandate is specifically to hold government accountable” as “the most commendable manifestation of a liberal democracy that I have.” can think”.

He added: “You don’t know what you have until it’s gone.

“And I just think we need to remind our elected elders and the better that there are some really basic civil, philosophical arguments in favor of the BBC that need to be made before you go to the point of cutting back and ramping up its funding.”

Sir Peter stepped down as chairman of ITV at the end of last month.

He has also served as chairman of the Arts Council UK and creative office director of the UK television production company Endemol. Public service broadcasting is facing an existential threat – former president of ITV

Fry Electronics Team

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