UK media regulator Ofcom has released new programming investment plans for CBBC and CBeebies under its new Royal Charter role beginning April 3. As the first independent, external regulator of the BBC, Ofcom has been charged with righting the decade-long decline in UK-originated children’s shows.
The new rules require CBBC to broadcast at least 400 hours (72%), and CBeebies to air at least 100 hours (70%), of all-new, first-run UK-commissioned content each year.
CBeebies will also have to provide programming in multiple genres that support preschool children’s learning.
Ofcom’s new duties will monitor the BBC as a whole by examining annual performance reviews, offering a ‘health check’ halfway through its 11-year Charter and giving a detailed analysis of the BBC’s upcoming annual plan for meeting its requirements.
Its Charter goals will place a sharper focus on distinctive, creative and high-quality programs, and a new Diversity Code of Practice will also be enforced for how the BBC commissions shows that authentically reflect the entire UK population focusing on age, gender, disability and race.