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Cross-party support grows for the devolution of broadcasting powers

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A cross-party Senned inquiry has backed calls for broadcasting powers to be devolved to Wales.

The Culture, Welsh Language and Communications Committee’s report says Wales should have more say on how broadcasting is funded and regulated. The report includes the following recommendations to “materially improve” media in Wales:

· Channel 3 licence: A requirement for the Channel 3 licence (held by ITV) in Wales to produce a greater proportion of network content in Wales, and an enhanced role for the Welsh government in setting the terms of the next Wales Channel 3 licence

· BBC: The BBC should provide a better forum for the views of audiences in Wales to be gathered and contribute to the development of BBC policy

· S4C: The UK government should devolve powers over S4C and other public service Welsh language broadcasting matters to Wales

· News: The Welsh government should establish an ongoing central fund to support news journalism, with arms-length delivery and accountability to secure impartiality

· Funding: While the current arrangements remain, an independent funding commission should be established with distinct Welsh representation, with decisions by such a body seeking consent from representatives of all UK nations

· Regulation: Enhanced broadcasting responsibilities for the Senedd and Welsh government, with the Welsh government, UK government and regulator Ofcom setting out how the provision of media content for audiences in Wales can be improved

The debates surrounding the future outlook of public service broadcasting in Wales are set to continue. The report will now be considered by Welsh Government and is scheduled for a debate on 24 March 2021.

For more information, please read the full report.

If you need advice, guidance or support from our team of legal experts, please contact Media Consultant, Sara Griffiths or Solicitor, Rhodri Evans . Loosemores Solicitors is ranked Tier 1 for Media and Entertainment in Wales by The Legal 500. Sara Griffiths is currently ranked as a ‘leading individual’ for Media and Entertainment in Wales.

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