REGULATORY

Notification Of Changes To Ofcom’s Public Service Broadcasting Survey

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By Emmaunuel Oluebube, Correspondent UK

UK TMT regulator, Ofcom is consulting on changes to its Public Service Broadcasting Tracker survey.

Ofcom’s PSB Tracker was designed, among other things, to measure public opinion on how well the BBC’s channels, and the main channels of ITV, STV, Channel 4, Channel 5 and S4C, meet each of the relevant PSB purposes and characteristics.

In 2020, the regulator suspended its PSB tracking survey due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Ofcom said at that time that it intended to re-design and recommission a new audience tracking survey for 2021.

“Today, we are setting out our plans for a new ‘Public Service Media’ Tracker, to begin in Spring 2021,” Ofcom said. To improve the structure and content of the survey the regulator is proposing, among other things, to:

  • extend the range of people surveyed to include low, lapsed and non-PSM users;
  • include a new section on how well people consider other major content providers (for example Sky, Amazon Video, Netflix, YouTube) offer PSB-like content;
  • update the wording of certain questions and offer additional background or descriptive context to improve participants’ understanding; and
  • change the fieldwork methodology (if required) to accommodate Covid-19 restrictions and ensure the safety of everyone involved.

Ofcom is now inviting comments on these proposals which must be submitted to market.research@ofcom.org.uk by 12pm on January 27, 2021.

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