Viewers have access to a wider range of content than ever before, on digital TV and online. Multichannel broadcasters now make a significant contribution to public service content, particularly in sport, entertainment, archive and acquired programming, and in one case, news. But they provide very little original programming in the genres under most pressure on commercial public service channels – current affairs, nations and regions programming, challenging UK drama, UK scripted comedy, and UK drama and factual programming for children. This is unlikely to change as provision on the commercial PSBs declines, because most multichannels do not reach the audiences required to justify large and risky investments in these areas and will themselves face increasing economic pressure.
The market will make a growing contribution, but is unlikely to meet all needs