Show Hide image

Jeremy Hunt plans new rules to encourage local TV content

Culture secretary to say that managing program viewing order can "repay broadcasters who invest in c

The culture secretary Jeremy Hunt plans to remove all existing curbs on the ownership of regional media in the UK and encourage public service broadcasters (PSBs) to set up local television stations.

He may also announce changes to the rules governing television's electronic programming guide (EPG).

In a speech to the Royal Television Society in London, Hunt is likely to seek support from PSBs to host or oversee local TV stations.

He is also likely to warn them that if they want to retain prime positions on digital TV EPGs, they will have to guarantee the delivery of a certain amount of local content. He will also say that those broadcasters which invest in content with a social or cultural benefit will be given a low-numbered channel on EPG.

Hunt will also ask media regulator Ofcom to redefine public-service broadcasting, laying more emphasis to local content.

The industry is sceptical about the commercial viability of Hunt's proposals.