Ofcom Calls for More UK Content on BBC Services


Half of all network hours have to be produced outside of London, and there is a framework in place to ensure a fairer regional spend across United Kingdom nations.

The rules form part of the first licence issued by Ofcom since it became the BBC's first independent, external regulator in April.

Across BBC One and BBC Two on peak evening hours this burden raises to 90% of content. Ofcom says it will, for the first time, make the BBC "publicly accountable" as it tries to improve representation on and off camera.

Ofcom "will scrutinise the BBC's performance to assess whether it is making sufficient progress in serving the UK's diverse communities and whether audiences are satisfied".

The regulator will also require "more music from new and emerging United Kingdom artists" on Radio 1 and Radio 2.

The children's channels CBBC and CBeebies must respectively show at least 400 and 100 hours of original United Kingdom commissioned shows.

The regulator also said it will require "more music from new and emerging United Kingdom artists" on Radio 1 and Radio 2. Those rules state that the BBC needs to broadcast more content produced within the UK.

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The BBC already exceeds the targets for BBC1 and BBC2 but it has now been set new quotas to safeguard United Kingdom programming.

Children's channels CBBC and CBeebies must show at least 400 and 100 hours, respectively, of new, UK-commissioned programmes each year. Moreover, the BBC will be required to spend broadly the same amount on programs, per head, in all four of the U.K.'s nations.

Ofcom said its research identified comedy as "an area of particular weakness" for theBBC.

"There will always be a place for classic shows and films, but viewers and listeners are clear they want to see new programmes - especially in peak time - that reflect their lives and interests, and carry the stamp "made in Britain".

"All audiences should feel the BBC offers something for them". Each figure will be proportionate to that country's population size, which is created to ensure the BBC is catering to each region and offering them specialised content - rather than just focussing all of its efforts on South East England.

The pubcaster will also need to implement an Ofcom-approved Commissioning Code of Practice for diversity, covering on-screen portrayal and casting, as well as workforce diversity.

"We will now get on with meeting these requirements and continuing to provide the world-class, creative BBC the public wants".