Conference to centre on public service broadcasting in Scotland

THE future of public service broadcasting in Scotland when everyone has access to dozens of TV channels – following the imminent switchover from analogue to digital TV, starting next year – is to be the subject of a conference being hosted by the broadcasting regulators, Ofcom.

In Cardiff, on Friday, SMG’s Bobby Hain is to be among the speakers at the event, which is also looking at PSB in Wales and Northern Ireland following the switchover.

It is the first time Ofcom has hosted such a conference about PSB and the ‘nations’.

By received wisdom is that, the more channels chasing the same (or even diminishing) pot of advertising revenue, the harder it is to justify PSB programmes, such as news – which can be expensive to make and not necessarily big ratings winners.

As well as Hain, attending will be Ed Richards, chief executive, Ofcom; Mark Thomson, director general, BBC; Andy Duncan, chief executive, Channel 4; Michael Grade, executive chair, ITV; Michael Wilson, head of television, UTV; Elis Owen, managing director, ITV Wales; Iona Jones, chief executive, S4C; and Donald Campbell, chief executive, Gaelic Media Service.