Producers from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are set to benefit from a £12 million boost to Channel 4’s out-of-England TV production spend, after regulator Ofom revealed plans to alter the broadcaster’s licence terms.
The regulator today said that Channel 4 would, from 2020, be expected to increase its out-of-England quota to 9%, both in terms of volume of hours and spend in the nations. Channel 4’s current licence, which expires at the end of the year, stipulates 3% of its volume and spend should be out-of-England.
Last year, Ofcom consulted on options for the new quota, with respondents including Equity, which has been campaigning for broadcasters to make more content in the nations.
A proposal for a 9% quota was put forward by Channel 4 itself, which said this was “achievable and realistic”. It added that a requirement beyond this would have “adverse effects on its commercial performance”.
The broadcaster also said that a 9% quota would require it to increase original production spend in the nations by £12 million a year by 2020, from its current level of £20 million.
Responding, Ofcom said a 9% quota would see viewers enjoying an “increased range of production centres and programmes made” and that producers in the nations would benefit too.
“Ofcom is proposing that the out-of-England production quota should be set at 9% by volume and spend from 2020 in a renewed licence,” it said.
It added that the current quota should remain at 3% until 2020.
It is now seeking views on this proposal, with the consultation closing on February 4.