Commercial Radio in Parliament for Hearing
Commercial radio representatives were in parliament yesterday at the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee Hearing on the Future of the BBC.
Will Harding, group director of strategy for Global, gave evidence, alongside Kip Meek from Radio Centre and Travis Baxter from Bauer.
Between them they represent 90% of commercial radio in the UK and made the following points:
- Radio 1 and Radio 2 are not delivering public service value. They are chasing ratings. They are not reaching 18-24 year olds. They are not delivering distinctive content. They are delivering content that is provided by the commercial sector e.g. same guests, same shows, save events.
- The BBC Trust has failed. The BBC needs independent regulation. OFCOM is well placed to do this.
- Commercial operators including Classic FM should be able to bid for parts of the licence fee to use the funds to deliver programming that’s not commercially viable e.g. more live concerts.
Representatives from commercial radio appeared in parliament today (25 February) as part of an inquiry into the future of the BBC. The full session can be viewed here.
RadioCentre’s written response which can be seen here.
The sector also says the BBC should tread carefully when considering new opportunities – working in collaboration rather than crowding out commercial operators or duplicating products that are already available.
KM Group also gave evidence during a separate session.
The Committee’s inquiry will play an important role in examining the main areas of debate in the run up to the renewal of the BBC’s Royal Charter in 2016 – including its future size and scope, funding structure and regulatory framework. Its final report is not expected to be published until the Spring.