This film is part of Free

The Price of Television

Interviews on the streets of Plymouth following the publication of the Pilkington Report on the future of television and broadcasting.

News 1962 6 mins

From the collection of:

Logo for South West Film and Television Archive


The Committee on Broadcasting launched in 1960 came to its conclusions in a published report by Sir Harry Pilkington and pitted public sector broadcasting against commercial broadcasting. BBC’s Royal Charter and Licence and the Television Act were due to expire in July 1964 but as it turned out both were extended. Commercial television was governed by the Independent Television Authority or ITA and television was growing in the regions under the award of franchises.

The Pilkington Report contained some interesting recommendations. It criticised the amount of American content and did not see the need for commercial radio (this led indirectly to the first pirate radio station). The ITA’s governance was to change and the BBC’s public sector broadcasting role was championed. With the advent of commercials on television the report recommended that the Advertising Advisory Committee should be strengthened with general consumer representation to include representatives from among housewives and mothers! The general public was to be consulted prior to the drawing up of a white paper and the BBC gained parliamentary approval to set up BBC 2 in 1964.