Licence review raises hopes of more Scots productions on Channel 4

MORE TV programmes could be made by Scots production companies for Channel 4, following a review of the broadcaster’s licence by regulators, Ofcom.

The TV watchdog yesterday set out proposals for the renewal of the Channel 4 licence, which is due to expire at the end of next year.

And, says Ofcom: “In 2010, an out-of-England quota was introduced for Channel 4 and set at a minimum level of three per cent on programme commissions, by hours and spend, with the expectation that the level would be subject to review.

“Ofcom is consulting on a proposal that Channel 4’s quota for programmes produced outside of England could increase over time to a minimum of nine per cent of original production by 2020.”

Jane Bradley, in today’s Scotsman, quotes a spokeswoman for the channel, saying: “Channel 4 works with creative partners from all over the UK. The proposal to increase production from outside England builds on our progress in recent years and will make a meaningful contribution in continuing to work with and commission independent production companies in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.”

Bradley continues: “Editors from the channel’s Daytime, Factual Entertainment and Features hold monthly meetings in Channel 4’s Glasgow office, which houses a handful of staff, under the jurisdiction of Scot Stuart Cosgrove, director of nations and regions.

“Last year, £21 million, around five per cent of its main channel spend and exceeding Ofcom’s three per cent minimum quota, was spent by the channel on programming made in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.”