In The Frame March '21
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In The Frame March '21

This month's latest news across the industry.

Streaming/Online/Tech

The DCMS Committee says in a new report that the UK’s public service broadcasters (PSBs) should be given access to streaming services’ viewing data relating to programming originally commissioned by those PSBs. The report adds that legislation should also require the clear labelling on Netflix, Amazon Prime and other OTT services of such content with the logo of the PSB it originated from.

While it’s expected Netflix and Amazon would oppose sharing this information, arguing that doing so would be commercially sensitive, the DCMS Committee disagrees: “Streaming services are an important ‘second window’ for PSB content but without viewer data, it is difficult to fully assess the reach of PSBs,” the report states.

Disney+ has amassed more than 100 million subscribers worldwide, as Frame 25 mentioned earlier this month in the third part of our series looking at studios behind the headlines.

Discovery UK is to place more emphasis on Discovery+, the streaming service it launched in November 2020. Of about 100 positions, roughly 10% are at risk, as linear-channel roles are merged with OTT jobs.

Discover.film is to stream fifty landmark short classics from the BFI archive after an agreement was reached between the two organisations.

BBC News

The DCMS report mentioned above also discussed the licence fee. It concluded that the government “needs to come out with a strong alternative… or strongly support the current model for at least the next Charter period (2028–2038)”. Julian Knight, the DCMS Committee Chair and a Conservative MP, said: “It's clear that the BBC TV licence fee has a limited shelf life in a digital media landscape. However, the government has missed the boat to reform it.”

In another parliamentary debate, to discuss the future of the BBC and its financial strategy, Tim Davie, the BBC's director-general, Glyn Isherwood, interim chief operating officer, and Charlotte Moore, chief content officer, spoke to the Public Accounts Committee. Of the UK’s 27 million households, the number who’d made a conscious decision last year to stop accessing BBC services and therefore no longer needed a licence, Isherwood said, was 1.7 million, up from 1.5 million the previous year.

More than 90% of UK adults used BBC services each week across the last 12 months. The monthly figure was 97%.

About 150 jobs are to be cut as the BBC moves its news operation away from London, BBC2 is to double its spend on arts programming, BBC Three is to return as a broadcast channel in January 2022, and BBC Four is to stop commissioning new content and become archive-focused.

And finally...

  • A new Bectu survey of nearly 4,000 workers in the creative industries has revealed that 30% have been made redundant or laid off at least once since March 2020, and more than a third (34%) are not currently working, either in the creative industries or another industry.
  • Channel 4 and E4 have joined TikTok. The two new accounts will feature exclusive and clipped content.
  • ITV's Oprah With Meghan and Harry was watched by 12.4 million viewers, giving the channel its biggest audience peak since the 2019 Rugby World Cup final. A further 2.2 million people streamed Oprah With... on ITV Hub.
  • Sky’s Now TV has rebranded to Now.
  • Ofcom has revealed results of its ‘alternative census’.
  • Oscars organisers are planning a UK hub for the 93rd Academy Awards on 25 April. An earlier declaration that all nominees must attend in person led to concerns that nominees from outside the US might not be able to travel.
  • Discovery is reportedly preparing to bid for a four-year package worth more than £50 million for the UK rights to The Ashes. BT and Sky remain the “established frontrunners”, while Amazon is said to have ruled itself out of bidding.
  • Encompass has deployed Ideal Systems’ Alice to support playlist automation across more than 1,200 full-time channels globally.
  • Cinema reopening dates around the world.

From the latest news to the latest positions – click here to see Frame 25’s most recent additions to its list of available TV jobs