Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer Vows To Protect Traditional TV Viewer In World Of Technological Change

Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer has vowed to protect traditional TV viewers as she unveils planned research on the future of television in the UK.

In her speech later today at the RTS Cambridge Convention, Frazer, who has been in post for more than six months now, will say attention has pivoted to “making sure people are not left behind.”

“New ways of consuming TV should not come at the expense of those who still enjoy terrestrial television,” she will say, in conversation with Channel 4 CEO Alex Mahon.

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Addressing this year’s theme of Too Much To Watch, the minister is expected to say that a huge variety of online platforms have supercharged creativity across the UK and global TV industry, but leaps forward in technology should not negatively impact on people who rely on traditional ways of watching TV.  

Frazer will keynote the bi-annual convention just two days after the British broadcasters unveiled Freely, a landmark free TV service organized by Freeview-operator Everyone TV that will deliver live televison over broadband. This followed a speech from BBC Director General Tim Davie late last year in which he imagined an IP-only future where linear channels are only available via the internet.

Frazer’s research will in part help inform long-term policy decisions on whether to extend the current commitment to keep Freeview on air until at least 2034.

“We’re not going to pull the rug from under the devoted audiences of Freeview channels,” she will tell the Convention. “We want terrestrial television to remain accessible for the foreseeable future.” 

More announcements are expected during Frazer’s full speech this afternoon. She previously unveiled an ambition to grow the creative industries, which incorporates TV and film, by £50B ($62B).

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