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UK broadcasters must adapt as TV watching moves online

Britons are increasingly watching television online creating new challenges for the country’s public service broadcasters (PSBs) which should look to adapt their models accordingly, said the country’s telecoms regulator in a review.

Ofcom said on Thursday only 69 percent of viewing by British adults was now through live TV due to the growth in online and on demand TV on mobile devices. Among 16 to 24-year-olds, only 50 percent of viewing was done through live TV.

The BBC and ITV and other PSBs, which in return for the right to broadcast have costly obligations such as news provision, must keep up with the shift to online video on demand viewing to ensure they retain a high visibility and can compete with rival services from Netflix and Amazon, said the review.

“They (the PSBs) must continue to find new ways of connecting with audiences, and the PSB system needs to evolve to ensure it remains effective in the digital age,” said Ofcom chief executive Sharon White.

Ofcom said that the government also needed to consider the effectiveness of the PSB framework in the internet age.

The changing media landscape has already prompted a consultation on whether PSBs could be allowed to charge cable and satellite pay-TV companies like Virgin Media and satellite broadcaster Sky for carrying their channels.

Read the entire story here.

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