HC Deb 16 March 1998 vol 308 c940
11. Mr. Mullin

What plans he has to maintain programme quality in commercial television; and if he will make a statement. [32908]

Mr. Chris Smith

The terrestrially transmitted commercial channels are subject to a number of programme requirements which are monitored and enforced by the Independent Television Commission. The commission must also seek to ensure that commercial television, taken as a whole, offers programmes of high quality and wide range, appealing to various tastes and interests.

Mr. Mullin

Why is Sky Television exempt from the requirement on ITV and BBC to produce a percentage of output in this country?

Mr. Smith

Sky, like all broadcasters under European provisions, has to move towards a quota of European-made programming. I have to say that Sky is making good progress in moving towards that quota. I was particularly pleased that it recently announced that it would make a substantial investment in UK film production over the coming year.