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Yeti unlocks historic homes for Channel 4 - Televisual
National Trust: My Historic Home: C4 doc, which this week, was made by Welsh indie Yeti TV

Producer bodies are pressing Ofcom to raise Channel 4’s compulsory nations and regions quota to be raised to 50%.

The regulator has proposed keeping C4’s commitment at its current 35% level despite the broadcaster voluntary commissioning at least half of its shows outside of London.

In 2022, C4 spent a record £228m with nations and regions indies, which secured 66% of commissions for its main channel came from indies in the nations and regions.

Pact and Welsh independent producers’ body TAC (Teledwyr Annibynnol Cymru) have called on Ofcom to formalise C4’s commitment, arguing that the 35% level is “not fit for purpose” and that raising the quota will “future-proof” its N&R duties and offer producers more certainty in a challenging market.

Pact chief executive John McVay said the group was also motivated to protect indies against C4’s expected move into in-house production.

“We disagree with Ofcom’s proposals to retain the existing quotas and urge them to consider strengthening Channel 4’s commitment to supporting indies outside of London and across the UK.” 

TAC, meanwhile, said Ofcom’s proposal to reduce C4’s minimum level of main channel original commissions from 56% to 45% is “disproportionate” to the broadcaster’s need to focus spend on youth-skewing digital content.

The Welsh group also suggested reviewing C4’s licence every five years rather than the current ten.

Dyfrig Davies, TAC chair and managing director of indie Telesgop, said: “We are surprised that, having proposed to fundamentally alter Channel 4’s requirements elsewhere, Ofcom is not recognising how the broadcaster has changed in its commissioning structure and approach. 

“With its hubs and voluntary targets, Channel 4 has hard-wired out-of-London commissioning into its structure and we believe Ofcom should future-proof this by raising the quota in line with the current reality. As it stands the 35% quota level is simply not fit for purpose.”

The bodies outlined their concerns in their responses to the regulator’s consultation on C4’s licence renewal.

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