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New Ofcom research shows investment in UK kids programming down

Controller of business strategy at the BBC James Thickett relayed some of the early results of Ofcom's review into children's programming during a speech at the Voice of the Listener conference in London on Tuesday that confirm what many UK indies already know. According to Thickett, Ofcom's new figures show that across the public service broadcast channels, spend on first-run original children's programming has declined by 20%, from US$217 million per year in 1998 to US$177 million in 2006.
May 17, 2007

Controller of business strategy at the BBC James Thickett relayed some of the early results of Ofcom’s review into children’s programming during a speech at the Voice of the Listener conference in London on Tuesday that confirm what many UK indies already know. According to Thickett, Ofcom’s new figures show that across the public service broadcast channels, spend on first-run original children’s programming has declined by 20%, from US$217 million per year in 1998 to US$177 million in 2006.

Interestingly, however, Ofcom’s research shows overall demand for children’s television has remained constant, while there has been a decline in kids watching adult programming.

Pact, the organization that represents UK independent producers, also released research that indicates that investment in new UK programming from non-BBC channels has plummeted by approximately 80% from 2001 numbers, following the withdrawal of ITV and Channel 3 from commissioning.

About The Author
Gary Rusak is a freelance writer based in Toronto. He has covered the kids entertainment industry for the last decade with a special interest in licensing, retail and consumer products. You can reach him at garyrusak@gmail.com

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