Welsh TV producers welcome moves to clamp down on ‘brass-plating’ loophole
TV producers in Wales have welcomed recommendations from MPs to clamp down on non-Welsh companies being used by broadcasters to meet their “regional” production criteria.
They do this by using a practice described as ‘brass-plating’, a loophole in the regulations which allows broadcasters to secure Welsh commissions using companies that may not be based in Wales.
Currently a non-Welsh company can be given a commission and then establish a small base, which may only last as long as the commission itself, negating any positive benefits it might generate for the Welsh creative sector.
The Welsh Affairs Committee has urged the broadcasting watchdog Ofcom to examine whether relying on this “substantive base” criterion alone provides an opportunity for the system to be manipulated and recommend that it should examine whether this alone should be sufficient to qualify a production as being based in Wales.
It also called on the UK Government to amend the Draft Media Bill to address the problem.
Dyfrig Davies, Chair of Teledwyr Annibynnol Cymru (TAC), the trade body for TV producers in Wales, said: “We are really pleased at the level of interest the Committee has shown in ‘brass-plating’ and it has brought a long-running problem to the fore.
“We greatly welcome the proposed insertion into the Media Bill of requirements on Ofcom to more strictly regulate this, in order to endure that the sprit of the out-of-London quotas – that productions sectors around the UK can grow – is followed.
“We are having discussions with Ofcom, the Government and the BBC on this matter and hope to make progress”.
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