Multiplatforming Public Service Broadcasting: The economic and cultural role of UK Digital and TV Independents

James Bennett, Nicola Strange, Paul Kerr, Andrea Medrado

Research output: Book/ReportOther report

288 Downloads (Pure)


The UK Independent sector has been a significant part of the the economic success story of the Creative Industries in UK plc.  But it has also added a great deal of cultural value through the shared commitment to, and understanding of,
public service broadcasting (PSB) that runs across independent television and digital media companies (Indies). In turn, this investment in PSB has driven economic growth in the sector. In this report, produced as part of a two-year Arts
& Humanities Research Council project (AH-H0185622-2) on ‘multiplatform public service broadcasting’, focusing on factual/specialist factual as a case study, we detail the role Indies play in PSB. We set out how PSB informs the production cultures of independent companies, the tensions that are experienced between profit and public service and the impact multiplatform commissioning and production practices have had on the sector.

Our conclusion is that a fragile ‘compact’ between the PSBs and the independent sector underpins much of the cultural and economic success of the UK’s television and multiplatform industries. This compact is built on the balancing of economic reward with the cultural commitment to the purposes, characteristics and production modes of PSB found across the independent sector, which  provides benefits to UK audiences, the working lives of producers in the sector, and UK plc as a whole.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherRoyal Holloway, University of London
Commissioning bodyNot available
Number of pages59
Publication statusPublished - 20 Sept 2012


  • multiplatform
  • public service broadcasting
  • television
  • digital media
  • channel 4
  • BBC

Cite this