The Radio Independents Group today published its response to Ofcom’s consultation on the BBC’s draft Operating Licence, calling for Ofcom to reinstate genre quotas for important production such as drama and comedy on Radio 4 and drama on Radio 3.
Previously the BBC Trust required BBC Radio 4 to broadcast at least 600 hours of original drama and readings a year, along with at least 180 hours of comedy a year. Radio 3 was required to broadcast 20 new dramas a year. In addition Ofcom has dropped arts programming requirements in BBC Radio Scotland and comedy on BBC Radio Ulster.
However these obligations have not been read across to the draft Operating Licence and this is causing concern amongst a variety of organisations including those representing producers, writers and others.
RIG is seeking discussions with Ofcom to discuss the radio quotas, with the aim of reinstating the requirements for these important genres.
New RIG Vice-Chair Caroline Raphael said:
“Drama and Comedy are at the very centre of these services’ distinctiveness, bringing delight, imagination and wit to so many listeners. So much talent, on air and behind the microphone, has flourished from these types of production, feeding television, film and live performance throughout the UK with new creativity.
While Ofcom has increased drama quotas for other services such as CBBC, which we applaud, it has been less than entirely consistent in protecting these genres on radio. We will ask Ofcom to think again and reinstate these requirement to the new Operating Licence”.
Contact: Tim Wilson, communications adviser on 07909 560 374
Will Jackson, Managing Director on 07770 500 874
- The Radio Independents Group (RIG) is the trade body representing the UK independent audio production sector. The sector is made up of approximately 150 creative companies, spread around the whole of the UK. RIG members represent around 95% of industry turnover. These creative companies make radio content for commercial networks as well as BBC networks. They also produce a variety of audio-led content for corporate clients, as well as overseas networks and companies. Audiobooks, podcasts, museum audio-guides, audio games and other multimedia formats. It is estimated the sector employs around 2,000 people, mostly in skilled production roles. More at www.radioindies.org
- A list of genres dropped from the BBC Trust’s BBC Radio service licences is provided on page 3 of this release
- RIG’s full response to Ofcom’s consultation is supplied with this release and at www.radioindies.org
- Other organisations raising concerns on this issue include the Society of Authors and Radiocentre