Westminster Media Forum

Since lockdown, we have been organising our full programme of conferences online. We will continue online until further notice, to ensure we play our part in helping our employees and delegates to remain safe during this time. We are pleased that so many key stakeholders, policymakers and other interested parties - both old friends and new delegates - are taking up the opportunity to discuss public policy issues and network at our impartial seminars. New events are coming on to our conference programme all the time. So there are plenty of opportunities for you to join us if you haven’t already, from wherever you are. For booking-related queries, or information on speaking, please email us at info@forumsupport.co.uk or contact us using one of the following numbers: +44 (0)7538736244 / +44 (0)7503591880 / +44 (0)7951044809.
For delegates already booked on, we will send you the online joining instructions (including links, event numbers and passwords) five working days before your conference. If you cannot find these in your inbox please email delegate.relations@forumsupport.co.uk

The future for public service broadcasting

Morning, Friday, 11th December 2020

***Full-scale policy conference taking place online***

This conference will consider the future for UK public service broadcasting - looking at Ofcom’s PSB review, market dynamics, and priorities for policy and regulation.

The discussion is bringing stakeholders together with key policy officials who are due to attend from DCMS; Ofcom; the Cabinet Office; DIT and HMRC.

The agenda:

  • Broadcast regulation going forward - options for a new framework
  • Latest thinking on defining public service broadcasting, its place in the wider media market, and its contribution to people’s lives and a society changed by the pandemic
  • The long-term outlook for the media sector, and assessing what support might be required in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Attracting and retaining young and diverse audiences offered ever-widening choices - innovation, discoverability, and ensuring continued relevance
  • Policy priorities for addressing the key challenges facing public service broadcasting

The context at a glance:

  • Negotiations on the future cost of the TV licence kick off - and the appointment of the Public Service Broadcasting Advisory Panel to advise government on the role, focus and governance of PSB
  • The future of public service broadcasting - Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee inquiry into the future of public service broadcasting including funding, content and regulation and how this compares with streaming and subscription services
  • Ofcom’s Plan of Work 2020/21 - updated with a further consultation on the PSB review along with its annual report on the BBC in Q3 2020/21
  • Small Screen: Big Debate - a five-year review of Public Service Broadcasting - Ofcom’s assessment of PSB aimed at stimulating thinking on how to carry forward the benefits of PSB into the future
  • It’s time to ask big questions about the future of the BBC - the Culture Secretary writing for the Daily Telegraph, outlining issues for the BBC in a changing media market including value for money, impartiality and public trust, and how the BBC represents the nation
  • Review of competition rules in the EPG Code - Ofcom’s current consultation following Recommendations to Government for a new framework to keep PSB TV prominent in an online world
  • Channel 4 Corporation’s performance in delivering its media content duties - with Ofcom findings on quality and innovation, and scan of future risks as both audience habits and the market change
  • The BBC:
    • Tim Davie's introductory speech as BBC Director-General - outlining his priorities including commitment to impartiality, a focus on unique high-impact content, extracting more value online and building commercial income
    • further developments such as changes to free licenses for over-75s, the DCMS Consultation on decriminalising TV licence evasion, and the BBC News sets out update on modernisation plans announcements
  • the Broadcasting, Film and Production working group - set up as part of the Cultural Renewal Taskforce to help develop guidelines as media businesses reopen following the pandemic
  • Lockdown leads to surge in TV screen time and streaming - Ofcom finding that people in the UK spend 40% of their day watching TV and online video services during lockdown

Policy officials attending:

Our forums are known for attracting strong interest from policymakers and stakeholders. Places have been reserved by parliamentary pass-holders from the APPG for Children's Media and the Arts, and officials from DCMS; Ofcom; the Cabinet Office; the Department of International Trade and HMRC. Also due to attend are representatives from Arqiva; BBC; British Film Institute; Broadcasting Authority of Ireland; Broadcasting Authority of Ireland; BT; Channel 4; CPRE Warwickshire; Enders Analysis; ITV; MG ALBA; NBCUniversal International; Ofcom; Portas Consulting and Virgin Media.

Press passes have been reserved by representatives from the Broadcast Magazine and 2020Dentistry.

Overall, we expect speakers and attendees to be a senior and informed group including Members of both Houses of Parliament, senior government and regulatory officials involved in this area of policy, as well as from media businesses, their suppliers and their advisors, the technology and telecoms industries, representatives from the public service broadcasters, UK commercial broadcasters, international media companies, OTT content services and digital streaming services, independent production companies, the content supply chain including studios and post-production companies, television and online advertising companies and their suppliers, media lawyers, consultants and analysts, organisations and individuals representing the views of consumers and citizens, regulators, academics, together with reporters from the national and specialist media.

This is a full-scale conference taking place online***

  • full, four-hour programme including comfort breaks - you’ll also get a full recording to refer back to
  • information-rich discussion involving key policymakers and stakeholders
  • conference materials provided in advance, including speaker biographies
  • speakers presenting via webcam, accompanied by slides if they wish, using the Cisco WebEx professional online conference platform (easy for delegates - we’ll provide full details)
  • opportunities for live delegate questions and comments with all speakers
  • a recording of the addresses, all slides cleared by speakers, and further materials, is made available to all delegates afterwards as a permanent record of the proceedings
  • delegates are able to add their own written comments and articles following the conference, to be distributed to all attendees and more widely
  • networking too - there will be opportunities for delegates to e-meet and interact - we’ll tell you how!

Full information and guidance on how to take part will be sent to delegates before the conference

Keynote Speakers

Claire Enders

Founder, Enders Analysis

Lord Young of Norwood Green

former Governor, BBC


Baroness Kennedy of The Shaws

Lord Black of Brentwood

Deputy Chairman, Telegraph Media Group and Vice Chair, All-Party Parliamentary ITV Group


Professor Catherine Johnson

Professor of Media and Communications, University of Huddersfield

Helen Jay

Head of Policy and Corporate Affairs, Channel 4

Ali Law

Director of Policy, UK and Ireland, Sky

Mitchell Simmons

VP, Government Relations, ViacomCBS

Magnus Brooke

Director of Policy and Regulatory Affairs, ITV

Paul Oldfield

Controller of Policy, BBC

Adam Minns

Executive Director, The Association for Commercial Broadcasters and On-Demand Services (COBA)

Terrie Brennan

International Media Lead, Nielsen

Professor Patrick Barwise

Emeritus Professor of Management and Marketing, London Business School; and co-author, The War Against the BBC

Kate O’Connor

Executive Chair, Animation UK Council, UK Screen Alliance