Uncertain future for underfunded public service media sector

Europe: The funding of public service media has decreased by 3.3 per cent in real terms over the last five year, EBU research show. The flagship report ‘Funding of PSM 2016’ shows that the growth of most PSM revenue has been so low that it stands below inflation.

Head of EBU’s Media Intelligence Services Roberto Suárez Candel says: “PSM across Europe are not always properly funded and many continue to see their revenues being continuously eroded.”

Despite the financial constraints, PSM continue to expand their offer to adapt to new media consumption habits and reach as many citizens as possible. 74 new audiovisual services were launched by EBU Members in 2015 and 97% of Members now have a free catch-up video service.

Suárez continues: “The current situation is not sustainable. If PSM are not well equipped to deliver quality and value to citizens, their relevance and future are uncertain.”

The funding of PSM continues to be the subject of heated debate. However, Suárez concludes: “We need to create a new narrative for PSM. Rather than seeing PSM as a cost to citizens, it needs to be portrayed as an investment that benefits the entire society.

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