ITV opposes proposal for another pubcaster

B'caster opts for fund to back regional and news programs

LONDON — Blighty commercial broadcaster ITV wants media regulator Ofcom to nix plans to create a £300 million ($550 million) pubcaster to rival the BBC.

Instead, ITV favors a public service fund to back broadcasters’ regional and news programs, rather than a new channel to compete with the BBC. This would allow ITV to dip into coin for its programming that falls under the public service remit.

ITV’s view was part of its submission to Ofcom on the review of the BBC’s Royal Charter, the document that governs the pubcaster’s operations and funding, due for renewal next year.

It argued that setting up a special fund would cost less. It also wants a review of the BBC license fee, payable by every home that has a TV, halfway through the charter’s next 10-year period.

Rival commercial broadcaster Five also questioned Ofcom’s scheme, which would be funded by a supplement to the license fee or a tax on broadcasters, arguing the budget for the new broadcaster would dwarf its own budget.

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