The Children’s Media Foundation

DDCMS and the Contestable Fund

The latest news of the proposed Public Service Contestable Content Fund has emerged from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. The public consultation on the proposals to spend £60m of public money over two or three years to stimulate public service content outside the BBC closed in mid February, but analysis and decision making at DDCMS were delayed due to the General Election.

Now, DDCMS officials say they hope to have their response to the consultation out in "October or early November". This will essentially be the plan for the Fund, decided by ministers following their assessment of the consultation responses.

CMF made it clear that it was efficient and reasonable that all the funding in this pilot project be directed to children's and youth content, a position backed by Pact and others. The Fund represents a real opportunity to apply a 'carrot and stick' approach to new children's content if it operates hand-in-hand with the new regulations on commercial public service broadcasters like ITV, Channel 4 and Channel Five. Together they could lead to them commissioning and broadcasting more children's and youth programming.

It remains to be seen what the government has decided for the new fund. CMF will be pressing hard for maximum support for new kids' content.

CMF Updates Policy

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