House of Lords launches inquiry into UK broadcast regulations in light of growing streaming services like Twitch

‘Can public service broadcasters compete with streaming services?’

That’s the question the House of Lords Communications Committee will ask academic experts next week.

It’s part of an inquiry into investigating whether there is a future for public service broadcasting in the context of the rising popularity of video on demand services, like Twitch, YouTube, Netflix and so on.

In the week following Apple’s announcement that it will develop its own streaming service, the Committee will examine how such services are shaping the market for TV and TV-like content and what place there will be for public service broadcasters in the future.

More importantly, for streamers and people in the gaming and esports industry, the Committee will also ‘consider whether the current framework for regulating broadcast and on demand services is appropriate and if the UK can learn from the responses of other countries’.

The evidence session will begin at 3.30pm in Committee Room 2 of the House of Lords on Tuesday April 2nd.

The Committee will hear from:

  • Professor Patrick Barwise, Emeritus Professor of Management and Marketing, London Business School
  • Professor Petros Iosifidis, Professor of Media Policy, City, University of London
  • Professor Jeanette Steemers, Professor of Culture, Media and Creative Industries, King’s College London

Topics the Committee are likely to cover include whether the business models of commercial public service broadcasters are at risk, whether public service broadcasters’ obligations and privileges are still appropriate, the viability of the new Britbox service and more.

They will also explore ‘the changing viewing habits of younger generations’ and increases in the cost of producing high-quality programmes.

The evidence session is open to the public. To attend, head to Parliament’s Cromwell Green Entrance and allow time for security screening.

Two years ago, Germany labelled Twitch a ‘radio service’ and told some streamers they would require a broadcasting license to stream.

You can watch the House of Lords session live online here.


Image source: Copyright House of Lords 2016 / Photography by Roger Harris


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