Channel 4 will have to commission more programmes from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland in return for having its licence renewed.
The state-owned broadcaster’s current licence expires at the end of 2014.
Media regulator Ofcom has decided to renew the licence for a 10-year period, bringing its expiration date into line with those of Channel 3 (ITV, STV and UTV) and Channel 5.
As a condition of the new licence, Channel 4’s quota for programmes produced in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will triple from its current level of 3 per cent of volume and spend to 9 per cent from 2020.
Ofcom says this will require the broadcaster to increase the proportion of its TV production spend and volume in the UK nations by a minimum of 60 per cent and 30 per cent respectively from the current levels.
It says such a move will benefit viewers “by increasing the range of production centres, and programmes produced in them, that are broadcast on Channel 4.”
The increase is also expected to increase on-screen diversity and representation of the regions.