Channels 3 and 5 licences renewed

Maria Miller
Image caption Maria Miller said the move would secure "a strong and diverse future for public service broadcasting"

Channels 3 and 5 will have their licences renewed for a further 10 years, the culture secretary has said.

The Channel 3 licences are held by ITV in England, Wales and the Channel Islands, STV in Scotland and UTV in Northern Ireland. The Channel 5 licence is held by Northern & Shell.

But the government wants ITV to do more in Scotland to address the concerns of viewers in the Border region.

And Channel 5 will have to provide more children's programmes.

The licences for both channels expire on 31 December 2014.

'Significant value'

Culture Secretary Maria Miller has written to the regulator, Ofcom, asking it to negotiate the renewed licences.

But she highlighted particular issues she wanted Ofcom to look at.

"Under proposals put forward by ITV, viewers in the south of Scotland would not receive the same level of programming about Scotland as those in the northern and central parts of the country," the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) said in a statement.

"The culture secretary said she wanted to see a way forward that addressed the concerns of viewers in the Border region."

Northern & Shell has also committed to investing in children's programmes on Channel 5.

"The channel has said it will broadcast at least 600 hours of UK-originated children's programmes a year and this would comprise at least half of children's programmes on the channel," DCMS said.

It said the decision to renew the licences offered "significant value to the creative industries as Channels 3 and 5 invest around £800m a year in original content".

Mrs Miller also agreed that Ofcom should proceed on the potential separation of the Wales and West Channel 3 licence region.

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