Documents to download

Public service broadcasting in the UK includes not only the output of the BBC, but also the programming broadcast on Channel 3 (licensed to ITV and its regional subsidiaries), Channel 4, Channel 5 and the Welsh-language channel S4C. The public service broadcasters (PSBs) have a large market share of television audiences and studies have shown that viewers value them highly. However, they also face challenges. These include changing viewing habits because of increased competition from subscription video-on-demand services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime.

The BBC has recently faced criticism for alleged bias in its journalism and there has been speculation about the long-term future of its funding model. On 5 February 2020, the Government launched a consultation on decriminalising non-payment of the TV licence fee. The BBC has estimated that this could cost it £200 million a year in lost revenue.

The creative industries are a significant contributor to the UK economy. In 2018, they contributed £111.7 billion in gross value added (GVA) to the UK economy. Of that figure, £20.8 billion was contributed by the film, television and radio sector. The creative industries are also a major employer. In 2018, they employed just over 2 million people, with 245,000 employed specifically in the film, TV and radio sectors.

In November 2019, the House of Lords Communications and Digital Committee published its report, Public Service Broadcasting: As Vital As Ever. It concluded that the UK’s PSBs had a central role in providing investment to the wider economy and creative sector. The committee described the UK’s film and television production sector as a “national success story”. The PSBs significantly contributed to its “mixed ecology”—a “mutually reinforcing” system of specialist skills, production companies, and broadcasters.

A 2015 study of the BBC’s impact on the creative sector concluded that it invested £3.7 billion of its income directly into the creative sector. However, there have also been concerns that the BBC’s activities could crowd out commercial competitors.


Documents to download

Related posts

  • International Women’s Day 2024: Economic inclusion of women

    Economic disparities persist between men and women globally, with women generally facing lower pay, higher levels of informal employment, and more unpaid care work than men. Internationally, the UK government has made commitments to promote gender equality and economic inclusion, but concerns have been raised about the level of aid funding. In the UK, the government has expanded childcare places for working parents and supported private members’ bills to make changes to employment law.

    International Women’s Day 2024: Economic inclusion of women
  • Higher education: Contribution to the economy and levelling up

    The economic output of the UK higher education sector is estimated to be at least £116bn and graduates often experience better employment outcomes than non-graduates. Improving skills features in the government’s levelling up strategy and ministers have said that higher education institutions play a vital part in supporting regional economies. However, some stakeholders have criticised the government’s plans to restrict access to certain higher education courses and for not putting enough emphasis on the benefits provided by the sector.

    Higher education: Contribution to the economy and levelling up