Welsh indie producers call for BBC to work more with the nations and for proper protection of S4C budget and independence

3 November 2015

Teledwyr Annibynnol Cymru (TAC), the trade body for indie TV producers in Wales, today published its response to the Government’s Green Paper on BBC Charter Review.

In it the sector calls for the BBC to establish a commissioning system that enables greater competition for BBC commissions from producers in the UK nations and regions.

TAC’s response also casts doubt on the plan for moving most of BBC production into a subsidiary, BBC Studios, which would be able to compete with indies for commissions from other broadcasters. The response says BBC Studios ‘could destabilise an already thriving production sector by using its size and scale to distort the commissioning market’.

The response also highlights the implications of Charter Review for S4C: ‘The future of the Welsh language broadcaster S4C, a vital enabler for the Welsh creative sector and the Welsh language, must be guaranteed through specific protected funding, and regulation and governance that is not related specifically to the BBC.’

The document says that the BBC and S4C should where appropriate be regulated by Ofcom, but where possible their business overseen by their own unitary boards which are entirely separate from each other. It also calls for guaranteed funding for S4C at current levels, linked to inflation going forward.

TAC Chair Iestyn Garlick said:

“As the BBC Trust has said the BBC needs to demonstrate a greater commitment to working with producers around Wales. We need to have more content that’s made by people in Wales, not just for their own nation but for the enjoyment and insight they can give to all Licence Fee payers.”

Turning to S4C, he said:

“The future of S4C is bound up with Charter Review. We need it to emerge from the process with guaranteed level of ring-fenced funding, linked to inflation, and a governance system that is not fundamentally designed for another broadcaster, ie the BBC”.

“The Government has said repeatedly that S4C should be managerially and editorially independent and this is the chance to ensure that is the case in the future.”

TAC Response to DCMS BBC Charter Review Green Paper 2015

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