Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer has said she wants to build a clear picture of what the TV of the future looks like.
Addressing an audience of broadcasters and production companies at the RTS Cambridge convention, Ms Frazer said she was launching a new programme of work alongside a call for evidence from the regulator Ofcom.
“My department will undertake a six-month research project looking at changing viewing habits, and technologies that will impact how shows are brought to our screen both now and in the decades to come, acknowledging always the importance of access,” she said.
“I recognise that the future of TV is not just about pipes and wires, the way it appears on our screens and how people access it,” adding that the DCMS was also working with industry and Ofcom consider the impact of specific new technologies like AI.
Ahead of the next stage of the media bill, which Ms Frazer said had been built on consultation, she recognised there were concerns around extending content regulation to video on demand services. The rules should be the same when you’re watching TV the same rules that apply to a new Channel 4 series or a new Sky Documentary.
“74% of homes now have a smart TV connected to the internet. And this has spawned hundreds of new, mostly internet-based TV channels, which have created yet another innovative way for audiences to enjoy their favourite shows.
“But whilst this shift is an exciting one, it’s our job to look at those channels that fall outside our existing regulations and to make sure people are not left behind by this move to digital. That’s why we’re going to consult on whether we need to extend regulation to these unregulated channels and electronic programming guides, and if so, how.”
The culture secretary’s appearance at the University-owned West Road Concert Hall – she’s also the MP for South East Cambridgeshire – was acknowledged given the reluctance of some of her predecessors to participate fully.