UK TV is getting worse as younglings shun the BBC et al, says Ofcom

Religion, formal education, classical music? What’s that?

Thinking of the children

It also notes concern that hardly anyone produces original children's TV that isn't animations or foreign imports, except the BBC. In 2003, Labour relaxed the rules on education, religion and ethics programmes. The commercial PSBs (ITV, Channel 4, and Channel 5) have almost completely given up on children, down 77 per cent in six years.

Ofcom sees further concern that six of the seven biggest indie producers, who produce £1bn of revenue between them, are owned by "large foreign media companies."

Religion and ethics, formal education, and classical music get the sharp end of the shitty stick: there wasn't much before and now there's even less.

Viewing hours of TV by the 16-34 age group fell by 29 per cent between 2008 and 2014. The next age group up, 34-44, also saw a fall in live TV viewing greater than the fall across all age groups.

Ofcom's response to this? Broadcasters should get get down with the kids. "Short-form video or online-first content could potentially be a powerful way of delivering key PSB purposes such as informing understanding of the world and stimulating knowledge and learning," it said.

However, it may be futile. Instead of watching any kind of AV material, more people are grazing on the internet. If this continues, with "a rapid shift to VoD and other non-AV online content, away from linear TV, led by non-UK companies" then UK PSBs would be "increasingly irrelevant".

"There might be a need for a wholesale re-evaluation of how to deliver the public service outcomes Parliament has specified," Ofcom muses.

The full report is here (PDF). ®


The BBC yesterday announced that 1,000 jobs would go to meet projected cost savings. But probably not in the virals dept.

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