Ofcom PSB Review Phase 2: preparing for the digital future - Interactive Executive Summary


Administered Incentive Pricing (AIP)
A fee charged to users of the spectrum to encourage them to make economically efficient use of their spectrum
Analogue terrestrial television
AVMS, Audio Visual Media Services Directive
The successor to the TVWF, adopted by the European Council in 2007
Average Weekly Reach
the number of adults aged 4+ who watch at least 15 consecutive minutes of a specified TV channel or genre in a specific week (or in an average week over a longer period)
The pan-industry body which measures television viewing (Broadcasters’ Audience Research Board)
a service or connection which capable of supporting always-on services which provide the end-user with high data transfer speeds. Large-capacity service or connection allowing a considerable amount of information to be conveyed often used for transmitting bulk data or video or for rapid Internet access
Cabsat (Cable and/or satellite)
The collective term for cable and satellite multichannel services are usually digital services (DCab, DSat), or in a few cases analogue (DCab)
CAGR Compound Annual Growth Rate
The average annual growth rate over a specified period of time. It is used to indicate the investment yield at the end of a specified period. The mathematical formula used to calculate CAGR = (present value/base value) (1/#of years).
Channel 3
refers to the 15 regional ITV licensees and one licensee (GMTV) providing the national breakfast-time service. (see also ITV, below)
Commercial PSB main terrestrial channels
ITV1, GMTV, Channel 4, Five
Commercial PSB portfolio channels
refers to channels that are owned and operated by the same parent company as the commercial public service broadcasting main terrestrial channels, but which do not have public service broadcaster status, e.g., ITV2, ITV3, ITV4, E4, More 4, Film 4, Five US, Five Life.
Communications Act
Communications Act 2003, which was passed in July 2003
Country of Origin
The geographic territory where the programme was either primarily produced, or the territory or location that the programme was acquired from (normally territory where first broadcast).
DAB Digital Audio Broadcasting
A set of internationally accepted standards for the technology by which terrestrial Digital Radio multiplex services are broadcast in the UK.
Department for Culture, Media and Sport.
Digital switchover (DSO)
The process of switching over the current analogue television broadcasting system to digital, as well as ensuring that people have adapted or upgraded their televisions and recording equipment to receive digital TV.
Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT)
currently most commonly delivered through the Freeview service.
Digital television
Digital Video Recorder (Also Personal Video Recorder)
A device, usually built into a set-top box or TV set, which records content digitally onto a hard disk. The unit may have several tuners to record programmes simultaneously, as well as enabling facilities such as live pausing.
Electronic Programme Guide (EPG)
A programme schedule, typically broadcast alongside digital television or radio services, to provide information on the content and scheduling of current and future programmes.
First-run acquired programme
A programme broadcast for the first time that has previously been shown by another broadcaster.
First-run original programme
A programme commissioned and broadcast for the first time by a UK broadcaster
Free-to-view TV
Channels or services for which no payment is required at the point of reception (excluding the licence fee), except for the initial cost of reception hardware.
a category of television programming, for example current affairs or entertainment
High definition (High definition television)
A TV system which provides a clearer, sharper picture than standard definition through higher resolution. HD transmission format must display at least 720 lines on screen.
Hours transmitted
Transmission time by the broadcaster, excluding simulcasts or time-shifted transmission, but including all advertising and promotional time. Therefore, for a channel broadcasting 24 hours per day, 365 days per year, total hours should be 8,760.
Independent production
Programmes made on behalf of the broadcaster by a producer that qualifies under the Independent Production Order.
In-house production
Programmes made entirely or largely using staff employed or otherwise contracted to the broadcaster. This excludes programmes made by a broadcaster’s parent company or international affiliate.
Interactive media
digital media such as text, graphics, video and sound, which users can interact with, typically delivered via the internet
Internet protocol television (IPTV)
The term used for television and/or video signals that are delivered to subscribers or viewers using internet protocol (IP), the technology that is also used to access the internet. Typically used in the context of streamed linear and on-demand content, but also sometimes for downloaded video clips.
Refers to the Channel 3 service, apart from GMTV. ITV plc operates 11 licences in England, Wales and the Scottish Borders, known collectively as ITV1. Other ITV licences are operated by stv, UTV and Channel TV. At times in this document we have used the term ITV1 to cover the network and nations/regions services throughout the UK and Channel Islands. This is to distinguish it from ITV plc’s other channels, ITV 2, 3 and 4. (See also Channel 3, above.)
past the end of current commercial broadcasting licences - beyond 2014 (usually but to 2020).
Mega (million) bits per second. A measure of the speed of transfer of digital information
from 2011 to the end of current commercial broadcasting licences in 2014
In the UK this refers to the provision or receipt of television services other than the main five channels (BBC One & Two, ITV1, Channel 4/S4C, Five) plus local analogue services. ‘Multichannel homes’ comprise all those with digital terrestrial TV, satellite TV, digital cable or analogue cable, or TV over broadband. Also used as a noun to refer to a channel only available on digital platforms (or analogue cable).
A device that sends multiple signals or streams of information on a carrier at the same time in the form of a single, complex signal. The separate signals are then recovered at the receiving end.
Net advertising revenue (NAR)
Revenue received by a channel for the sale of airtime (usually spot advertising) to advertisers. This is expressed in real terms at 2006 prices.
Network programmes
The programme is produced for broadcast to households across the UK.
Non-network programmes
The programme is produced for broadcast to households within a specific region or number of regions within the UK. This is only possible where a programme is broadcast in a regional slot on BBC1, BBC2 or ITV.
Non-PSB channels
refers to channels other than the public service broadcasting channels
Ofcom’s first PSB review (2003-5)
Ofcom’s first statutory review into public service television broadcasting, undertaken in 2003-5.
Ofcom’s second PSB review (2007-9)
Ofcom’s second statutory review into public service television broadcasting, the terms of reference for which were published on 11 September 2007.
Originated programme
A programme commissioned and either broadcast for the first time or repeat broadcast by a UK broadcaster.
The trade association which represents the commercial interests of the independent production sector.
Pay-per-view TV
Programmes, channels or services for which a one-off payment is required to enable reception or use.
Pay TV channels
or services typically available in a package or bundle for which a regular subscription or other payment (excluding the licence fee) is required to enable viewing.
Peak time
The period during which a television station broadcasts its early and mid-evening schedule, typically used by Ofcom to refer to the period between 18:00 and 22:30 each day (including weekends).
Personal Video Recorder (PVR) (see Digital Video Recorder)
A device, usually built into a set-top box or TV set, which records content digitally onto a hard disk. The unit may have several tuners to record programmes simultaneously, as well as enabling facilities such as live pausing.
A television programme that is viewed in a different location to the equipment that they are being received by or are stored on Platform the mechanism through which content or services are delivered to the home, for example digital terrestrial television, satellite, cable, IPTV and broadband
the delivery of PSB content by more than one provider.
Portfolio channels
refers to channels that are owned and operated by the same parent company as the public service broadcast channels, but which do not have public service broadcasting status, except in the case of the BBC
PRS Premium Rate Services
Revenue received by a channel or service from payments from consumers for use of phone services prompted by a programme e.g. text voting.
Programme sales
Revenue received by a channel or service from the sale of previously broadcast programmes to another broadcaster.
Premium subscription TV
Channels or services for which a regular subscription or other payment (excluding the licence fee) that is specific to the channel is required to enable viewing.
Programme cost
The total cost of all activities associated with programme making, including the fees paid to external producers, artists and presenters, internal production staff costs, rights costs, costs of facilities and resources, and all associated overheads. It does not include other operational costs, including expenditure relating to management, marketing, finance or programme commissioning (as distinct from programme-making), or overheads.
Public service broadcasting, or public service broadcaster
PSB channels
BBC One, BBC Two, ITV1, GMTV, Channel 4, Five, S4C, CBBC, CBeebies, BBCNews24, BBC Three, BBC Four, BBC Parliament.
PSB main five channels
BBC One, BBC Two, ITV1, GMTV, Channel 4, Five, S4C.
PSB purposes, the public purposes

Objectives of programming set out by Ofcom in its 2004 public service broadcasting review, which are used to measure how well public service programming is being delivered by the public service broadcasters.

Purpose 1: Informing our understanding of the world - To inform ourselves and others and to increase our understanding of the world through news, information and analysis of current events and ideas

Purpose 2: Stimulating knowledge and learning -To stimulate our interest in and knowledge of arts, science, history and other topics, through content that is accessible and can encourage informal learning

Purpose 3: Reflecting UK cultural identity - To reflect and strengthen our cultural identity through original programming at UK, national and regional level, on occasion bringing audiences together for shared experiences

Purpose 4: Representing diversity and alternative viewpoints - To make us aware of different cultures and alternative viewpoints, through programmes that reflect the lives of other people and other communities, both within the UK and elsewhere

PSC (Public service content)
content that meets some, if not all, of the public service broadcasting purposes and characteristics.
Public service publisher, proposed by Ofcom in its first public service broadcasting review (2003-5) as a possible new institution for public service broadcasting in the digital age.
Reach (TV)
Proportion of total TV households viewing a particular channel over a specified time, expressed as a percentage of total available TV households.
Reach and Impact
ensuring that public service content reaches the maximum possible audience, or reaches a smaller audience but in a way that has maximum personal and social value to that audience
Regional production

Programmes that meet the regional production definition. This stipulates that programmes should meet at least two out of the following three criteria:

  1. the production company must have a substantive business and production in the region;
  2. at least 70% of the production budget (excluding the cost of on-screen talent, archive material and copyright costs) must be spent in the region;
  3. at least 50% of the production talent (i.e. not on-screen talent) by cost must have their usual place of employment in the region.
Repeat programme
A programme broadcast on a second of further occasion by the same broadcaster that it was originally shown by.
Share (TV)
Proportion of total TV viewing to a particular channel over a specified time, expressed as a percentage of total hours of viewing.
before the completion of digital switchover - from now to 2011
The broadcasting of a television or radio programme service on more than one transmission technology (e.g. FM and MW, DAB and FM, analogue and digital terrestrial television, digital terrestrial and satellite).
Standard definition (SD)
A TV system for broadcast. In the UK, this is the 625 line system, of which 576 lines are visible to the viewer. This is a lower resolution than HDTV.
Tier 1
refers to broadcasting standards, such as avoidance of harm and offence, and maintenance of due impartiality. Tier 1 applies to all UK-licensed broadcasters.
Tier 2
refers to programme and production quotas. These mainly apply to PSB channels, and include news, current affairs and regional programmes; also originally-produced and commissioned programmes, independent productions and production outside London, for example.
Tier 3
refers to the other PSB genres, where the PSB channels themselves are mainly responsible for determining delivery: arts, drama, religious and children's programmes, for example.
The broadcasting of a television service on more than one channel with a specified delay (typically an hour), to provide more than one opportunity for viewers to watch the service. Alternatively, the recording of programmes by viewers (using PVRs, recordable DVDs or VCRs) to watch at another time
TV Programme Rights
The definitions of primary and secondary rights to programming vary slightly by purchaser. The major terrestrial broadcasters (BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Five) all publish their definition of what these rights constitute in their respective codes of conduct for contracting with independent producers.
TV over DSL/TV over Broadband
A technology that allows viewers to access TV content - either in a linear programme schedule, or on-demand - using internet protocol via broadband services, either on a PC or (via a set-top box) on a TV set.
TVWF, Television Without Frontiers
A range of provisions designed to achieve coordination of the legal, regulatory and administrative frameworks of European Union member states with respect to television broadcasting, adopted by the European Council in 1989 and amended in 1997.
VoD Video on demand
A service or technology that enables TV viewers to watch programmes or films whenever they choose to, not restricted by a linear schedule. Also Near Video on Demand (NVoD) is a service based on a linear schedule that is regularly repeated on multiple channels, usually at 15-minute intervals, so that viewers are never more than 15 minutes away from the start of the next transmission.
In 2006, the BBC introduced a Window of Creative Competition (the WOCC), for the commissioning of TV programmes for its services. Under the terms of the WOCC, 50% of all BBC original commissions by volume is guaranteed to be in-house programming. With 25% commissioned under the independent production quota, the remaining 25% is open to competition between in-house and external producers for commissions.

About this Site

On this experimental site we encourage you to leave informal comments alongside the Executive Summary of Ofcom's Second Public Service Broadcasting Review - Phase Two: preparing for the digital future, published on 25 September 2008.

Alternatively, you can download the full consultation document, and/or respond formally to the consultation (closing date 4 December 2008). You can also follow the debate on the PSB Review blog.