Ofcom’s preliminary report on public broadcasting requirements for ITV1 appeared today. Of interest to me because the finally-agreed requirements will determine whether I still have a job or not. See, children’s programmes are not something ITV necessarily wants to do, they’re something ITV has to do under the terms of our broadcasting license. Yes, ITV is a public service broadcaster, at least in part.
This is a problem because CITV doesn’t cover its own costs – I believe the shows cost more than the advertising brings in. But we have to make them, so that’s fine. As part of Ofcom’s far-reaching broadcasting review, they’re assessing that burden – and so far, it looks quite hopeful. Basically, the cost is moderate, but the publicly-perceived benefit is fairly high. The preliminary report groups us with News and Current Affairs under ‘low-cost, high benefit’, which has to be a good thing. Even if we’re the most marginal element of that group.
The report’s rather interesting, actually – some refreshingly radical metrics in use there, and my cursory inspection has left me with the impression that the authors really know what they’re doing. I wish I had more time to study it, but we’re in the middle of rehearsals…
…for ITV’s cheapest children’s factual series, and one of the most popular. Stick that in your cost/benefit analysis, nyeurgh!