STV welcomes publication of draft Media Bill
29th March 2023
STV welcomes ten-year renewal of Channel 3 licences
and publication of draft Media Bill
STV welcomes today's announcement by the Secretary of State that its Channel 3 licences can be renewed for a further ten-year period from January 2025.
The confirmation that STV's licences for central and north Scotland can be extended secures the provision of public service obligations, including the country's highest performing news and current affairs programmes.
STV is Scotland's highest rated peak-time channel reaching 3m people every month with a mix of regional and Channel 3 network programmes including drama, soaps, entertainment and major sporting events.
STV also welcomes the publication of the draft Media Bill, including provision to extend the prominence that Public Service Media (PSM) providers are currently entitled to on broadcast platforms to new digital platforms. This will mean that STV Player will be more easily discoverable on connected TVs, streaming sticks and set top boxes.
STV's Chief Executive Simon Pitts said:
"We welcome confirmation from the Secretary of State that STV's Public Service Broadcasting licences can be renewed for a further ten-year period. STV remains Scotland's most popular peak-time channel and our schedule provides an unrivalled mix of original UK content including drama, soaps, entertainment and live sporting events. STV News, with its unique localised programming has been Scotland's most watched news service for four years in a row and plays a vital role in keeping audiences up to date with trusted news, facts and insight.
"As more viewing shifts online, we also welcome publication of the draft Media Bill and in particular the Government's recognition that new legislation is urgently required to make Public Service Media as prominent on digital platforms as they are today on broadcast.
"STV looks forward to the swift passage of the Bill through Parliament to ensure that Public Service Media is sustained and strengthened in the future and that the highly valued service we provide to viewers in Scotland remains easily discoverable."
Media Contact: Kirstin Stevenson (STV) |Kirstin.firstname.lastname@example.org |07803970106
Ofcom recommended that the Channel 3 licences be renewed for a further term in its report to the Secretary of State under s229 of the Communications Act published on 29 June 2022
In assessing the commercial sustainability of PSB obligations over the next licence term, Ofcom noted:
"This position would be strengthened by implementation of the Government's proposed legislative reforms to establish new prominence and availability rules for PSB online TV services."
The Secretary of State has today accepted Ofcom's recommendation and confirmed that she will not intervene to block renewal of the Channel 3 licences
STV now has an opportunity to consider the detail of the draft Media Bill and formally apply for renewal of its two Channel 3 licences which must be completed by 30 April 2023. The extended licence term will run until 31 December 2034.