Producers’ trade body, Pact, has submitted its response to Ofcom’s consultation on Channel 4’s licence renewal in which it urged Ofcom to make mandatory Channel 4’s voluntary commitment to spend 50% of its commissioning budget outside of London.

It also made the case for separate quotas for the Nations to be introduced, in line with the BBC.

During Pact’s recent discussions with Government around the introduction of in-house production for Channel 4, Pact set out these proposals as one way to potentially mitigate the impact of Channel 4 moving into production, and to allay any potential reduction in the content budget spent on indies based in the Nations and Regions.

Pact CEO John McVay OBE, said: “Pact continues to be concerned about Channel 4’s new capacity to produce its own programmes and the impact this could have on the UK’s production sector, particularly for indies in the Nations and Regions. We disagree with Ofcom’s proposals to retain the existing quotas and urge them to consider strengthening Channel 4’s commitment to supporting indies outside of London and across the UK.”

TAC, the trade association for independent production companies in Wales, has also called on Ofcom to raise the out-of-London quotas on spend and hours for Channel 4.

TAC Chair Dyfrig Davies said: “We are surprised that, having proposed to fundamentally alter Channel 4’s requirements elsewhere, Ofcom is not recognising how the broadcaster has changed in its commissioning structure and approach. With its hubs and voluntary targets, Channel 4 has hard-wired out-of-London commissioning into its structure and we believe Ofcom should future-proof this by raising the quota in line with the current reality. As it stands the 35% quota level is simply not fit for purpose.”

Jon Creamer

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