The Independent Television Commission has slammed Channel 5 for its
over-reliance on low-budget programming in its annual report on TV
The report, which looks at the programming output of Channels 4, 5, GMTV
and Teletext, acknowledges that Channel 5’s resources are less than the
larger terrestrial channels.
However, it notes: ’There is still a lot of low-budget material of
little distinction and the ITC hopes to see a more consistently high
Films shown on Channel 5 after 9pm were under particular scrutiny, with
the ITC noting that the editing of films classed as ’18’ was ’not always
successful’ and that the channel did not fulfil its licence application
commitment to ’classic’ films.
It also felt that the channel should lessen its focus on erotic films
Responding to the criticisms, Channel 5’s chief executive, David
Elstein, said that the concerns over programming resource would be
’addressed over the next 12 months’.
He added: ’We have announced that our programme budgets will rise from
pounds 120 million to pounds 150 million over the next three years.’
Channel 4 was praised for its ’freshness and innovation’ across a number
of programme genres although the ITC felt its religious output was
’disappointing’ and it could be more innovative in terms of its
The ITC has also published its report on the switch over from analogue
TV to digital terrestrial TV. It warned the Government that the take-up
of the latter was expected to be slow.