Culture

BBC ordered to air more homegrown content

BBC ordered to air more homegrown content”

The BBC will have to report on whether it meets on-air diversity targets under new broadcasting rules.

Ofcom says the rules have been drawn up following consultation with viewers who told it "programmes made in the United Kingdom are important to them" and says they'll "ensure the broadcaster offers high-quality, distinctive programmes for its entire audience".

That includes a requirement that "at least 75 percent of all hours on [flagship TV channel] BBC One must be original productions, and 90 percent in peak time", which in Britain is traditionally defined as 5:30 p.m. -11 p.m. This pretty much classifies as a ban on evening broadcasts of any films or TV programming purchased from overseas.

CBBC and CBeebies have to hit 400 and 100 hours of brand new, UK-commissioned programmes each year respectively, showing that the children's output remains vital to the operation. These will be proportionate with each nation's population size, ensuring that the BBC is catering to each region with an appropriate amount of specialised content. Ofcom is also creating minimum quotas for programmes developed inside Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The regulator has also ordered the BBC to spend the same on programmes per head in every nation. Ofcom says it will, for the first time, make the BBC "publicly accountable" as it tries to improve representation on and off camera. "These include 15 percent of staff to be from ethnic minority groups, and 50 percent of all staff and leadership roles to be held by women by 2020".

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"If audiences are dissatisfied, the BBC must explain itself and put in place measures on how it will improve", it said.

On the content front, at least 75% of all programme hours on the most popular channels must be commissioned by the BBC for United Kingdom audiences. That means, according to Ofcom, "raising awareness of social issues among younger people and providing a platform on which to engage is one of the key ways Radio 1 can set itself apart from other radio stations".

British media regulator Ofcom has established new quotes for United Kingdom -originated shows on BBC channels, including in the areas of arts, music, comedy and kids' content. It also said that the BBC needs to support a wide-range of "valued genres" including those that have suffered decreasing investment.

People do like to watch foreign programming after all, particularly that made in the US. It'll probably mean we'll end up seeing a lot more panels shows.

A BBC spokesman said: "These are a tough and challenging set of requirements which rightly demand a distinctive BBC which serves and represents all audiences throughout the whole UK".



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