Written evidence submitted by David P. Davis, Founder and Creative Director, 5 Acts Productions


  1. Are the current models of funding for public service broadcasting in Wales sustainable to ensure the future of a successful and dynamic broadcasting industry in Wales?


I can only really speak from my scripted drama perspective and predominately having worked in high end TV. The HETV tax credit helps, but with the cost of production the way it is, we’re asking PSBs for a minimum licence fee tariff of around £900k. That means that S4C and BBC Wales, who traditionally have much lower licence fee tariffs, might struggle somewhat to get shows made without a co-financier of some description. This could potentially alter the local for local feel of some programmes as co-financiers are often more internationally focused.


2. What should the future of public service broadcasting in Wales look like given the growth of global streaming platforms and changing viewing habits especially of younger generations of consumers?


We’re in a golden age of TV at the moment with a lot of content. But most of it is driven by the US streamers and broadcasters, and now some of them are looking to streamline their expenditure, especially their international local for local content. This means that although there is more content, the knock on is that less of it is potentially relevant to UK individuals. PSBs are important, making sure that we feel represented when we switch on the screen. But they must also move with the times, making sure they stay relevant to young people and have content that young people will find. If we completely lose the youth to international streaming platforms, we might never get them back.  

3. What steps need to be taken by the UK Government, sporting bodies and broadcasters to ensure the survival of free-to-air broadcasting?


It’s a tough one. Essentially they need to make sure that PSBs have the appropriate level of funding to compete and the prominence in the market place to compete with the international marketing machines of the US. We probably also need to make sure that the international streamers are bound by the same code of conduct as the PSBs to ensure a level playing field.


1 June 2023