Netflix will be judged by Ofcom for controversial shows Business

Elsewhere, changes to rules governing ‘crown jewel’ sporting events such as the Olympics and the World Cup will aim to ensure that public service broadcasters can bid for the rights to broadcast them live and make them available for free on remedial services thereafter.

Viewers of last year’s Tokyo Olympics were stunned to find they could only watch two live events at a time on the BBC, after the main broadcast rights were scooped up by Discovery for 920 million pounds sterling, while full dressage and cross country were among the competitions only visible behind a paywall.

The white paper also paves the way for the privatization of Channel 4, despite backlash from some Tory MPs.

Father of the House Sir Peter Bottomley and Culture Committee Chairman Julian Knight were among backbench MPs who expressed doubts on Wednesday.

TV industry insiders in particular have raised concerns that the move would lead to a private owner drastically reducing the amount of programming made with independent producers, which Channel 4 currently has to use for all of its programming. .

Under Ms Dorries’ proposed reshuffle, more shows such as Derry Girls would be allowed to be done in-house. The government has insisted that Channel 4’s mission to deliver diverse programming will be preserved as part of the sales plans.

But Sir Peter told the House of Commons: ‘Channel 4 is in the best shape it has been creatively or financially in decades. The government could do better by leaving him alone.

Mr Knight added: ‘I broadly welcome the concept of privatization, but what assurances can the Minister give that privatization is worth the risk?’

A Whitehall source insisted on Wednesday ministers are confident privatization proposals can win a majority in Parliament and claimed the broadcaster’s role in backing independent production companies was no longer as vital as it was when of its creation under Margaret Thatcher.

Ms Dorries said: “The UK TV and radio industries are world renowned for their creativity, driven by exceptional talent who deliver groundbreaking public service programming.

“In the context of the digital transformation of our viewing habits, today’s plans will revamp decades-old laws to help our public service broadcasters compete in the internet age and usher in a new golden age for British television and radio.

“It will provide jobs and growth in the future, along with the content we all love.”

In a statement issued in response, a Channel 4 spokesperson said it would consider the proposals.

The spokesperson added: “Channel 4 remains committed to maintaining and maximizing its public service mission and purpose which has enabled it to shape UK creative culture and make a significant contribution to the creative industries, while also investing in nations and regions of the UK to create local and regional economic and social benefits.

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This notice was published: 2022-04-27 21:30:00

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