The BBC is a familiar fixture in UK broadcasting, but other broadcasters in the UK are less familiar. All of them, non-commercial (BBC), commercial non-profit (Channel 4), and commercial for-profit (e.g., ITV) have government-imposed public service broadcasting obligations. Each year, the MacTaggart Lecture at the Edinburgh International Television Festival provides some interesting fodder for this weblog, and this year's lecture, "The Billion Pound Question," is by Charles Allen, the soon-to-depart CEO of ITV. He has some particularly interesting comments on public service obligations for broadcasters other than the BBC, and takes a number of swipes at Channel 4:
... Channel 4 is behaving like a 25-year-old still living at home. Dipping into mum's purse, even when it's got a fat pay check in its back pocket. Is it not high time the enfant terrible of UK broadcasting grew up? And - let's be clear - if Channel 4 does need an injection of public cash for PSB, it begs the question: what exactly is the rest of its schedule for? If the acquired US programmes aren't paying for its news, why are they there? ...
Link to the full transcript: MediaGuardian.
For analysis of the speech, see ITV chief lectures industry on its digital future. Link: informitv.com. --Dennis