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Indies welcome BBC quota move

Tony HallThe industry group representing UK indie producers has welcomed the BBC’s move to scrap programming quotas and allow its in-house production team to work with third-party broadcasters.

The UK pubcaster’s director general Tony Hall (pictured) announced the changes yesterday and producers’ association Pact said it was a ‘seminal moment for licence fee payers’ and would liberate BBC commissioners who no longer have to work within a rigid quota system.

However, the industry group added, how the new programming regime will be implemented is unclear and ‘Pact has many questions that are yet to be answered’.

JohnMcVay_New“Pact has been calling for the BBC to open up to more competition for over 20 years,” said CEO John McVay (pictured, right). “Tony Hall’s commitment to liberalising in-house production should be welcomed both inside the BBC and by its suppliers.

“We look forward to working with the BBC Executive in the coming months to identify how this can be achieved in order to deliver the best value for money for licence fee payers.”

The changes in the BBC’s commissioning and production structure will see the ‘Window of Creative Competition’ scrapped. The WoCC is the quota mechanism the pubcaster uses to divide commissions among its in-house production teams, indie producers and others.

Hall said in the current UK TV landscape, with many producers part of larger media groups, the WoCC was creating a distorted market.