A cross-party group of MPs and peers have written to the UK’s Culture Secretary Jeremy Wright calling on the government to protect public service broadcasters (PSBs) from the streaming services operated by the likes of Netflix, Amazon and Sky.
According to The Guardian, the group argues that if the government is prepared to stand up against tech giants on such issues as tax, it should also protect the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5.
Although the latter have enjoyed top billing in traditional TV guides following legislation enacted in 2003, popular services such as Netflix and Amazon now increasingly appear as “top picks” in Sky and Virgin Media menus, with viewers increasingly eschewing traditional EPGs.
Although the regulator Ofcom is sympathetic to the PSB’s arguments about due prominence and has in fact just closed a consultation into the issue, it would require new legislation to protect them.
In its letter, the cross-party group calls for the enacting of such legislation.