ITV warns over public service remit
The ITV chief Michael Grade warned today that the independent broadcaster could be forced to give up its public service remit because it costs too much.
The channel's executive chairman hit out at "a whole host of nanny state regulation" which would be swept away if ITV renounced its status as a public service broadcaster (PSB).
"I think we have a future as a public service broadcaster provided that we can get Ofcom and the Government to realise very, very quickly that we cannot afford to pay more than the licence and the PSB status is worth," he said.
"Ofcom estimates that to be around £45 million a year. It's presently costing us over £220 million a year.
"If we can't get quick resolution to that then, obviously, as Ofcom itself outlined in its recent consultation paper, there is an option for ITV to give up its public service status.
"We don't want to do that."
Mr Grade insisted ITV was already meeting its public service obligations with the more than £1 billion a year it invested in UK productions.
He added: "It's not a threat, it's a realistic scenario, which Ofcom itself has proposed."
Speaking on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme, Mr Grade said a non-PSB ITV would continue to provide regional news - albeit "in a configuration that meets the modern world" - as well as impartial national and international news.
Challenged as to what would be lost, Mr Grade said: "A whole host of nanny state regulation, about where we put advertising minutage, how we have to treat our suppliers... the contracts we enter into with independent producers are controlled by a regulator.
"This is all Alice in Wonderland, this all belongs 20 years ago. It's so out of date."
Sales of the tablet are set to fall again, say analysts
Met Police confirm there was a 'minor disturbance' and no-one was arrested
George Lucas criticises the major Hollywood film studios
Does Chris Grayling realise what a vague concept he is dealing with?
Trend which requires crisps, a fork and a strong stomach is sweeping Mexico's streets
Concerns raised phenomenon is threatening resort's image as a family destination
I Am Bread could actually be a challenging and nuanced title
Peter Biaksangzuala died from his injuries in hospital on Sunday
The X Factor's judges colourful outfit was mocked by Simon Cowell
Sophia Loren: How I rejected Cary Grant and 'pulverised' Marlon Brando with my eyes
Banksy arrest hoax: Internet duped by fake report claiming that the street artist's identity has been revealed
'Russian submarine spotted' by Swedish military off coast of Stockholm
Kentucky gang rape: 15-year-old boy left in critical condition after sexual attack by group at party
Oscar Pistorius sentence: Athlete's wealth and notoriety provoke an overdue debate on South African prisons
- 1 Indian footballer Peter Biaksangzuala dies after injuring spine doing somersault celebration
- 3 Drink alcohol and eat meat to improve male fertility - but cut down on coffee, studies suggest
- 5 Lynda Bellingham dead: Loose Women presenter dies after battle with colon cancer
£35000 - £40000 per annum: Sauce Recruitment: As the Programmatic Business Dev...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + Uncapped Commission: SThree: Trainee Recruitment C...
competitive + bonus + benefits: Sauce Recruitment: My client is looking for an...
£60000 - £65000 per annum: Sauce Recruitment: A globally successful media and ...