Our research examines the current challenges and future provision of arts programming within broadcasting. We define arts broadcasting broadly to encompass the multiplicity of visual arts we see represented on screen and on radio. Within this we focus specifically on the production, delivery and marketing of arts programming in an increasingly competitive multiplatform market.

Our research asks:

  • What is the future of arts programming in an era of multiplatform provision, and what does this suggest about the future of Public Service Broadcasting more generally?
  • How has arts programming adapted both on screen and through the use of online resources?
  • How has the scheduling, marketing and distribution of arts programming evolved as a result of more niche channelling and digital strategies?

Broadcasting has been crucial to the development and promotion of the arts in the UK offering new and diverse audiences, providing a further medium for artistic engagement and expression, and becoming a central agent in facilitating commercial success for new and established artists. In return, this genre attempts to stimulate imagination and capture the diversity of human creativity and experience through a variety of forms including documentary, review shows, live-broadcasts, drama and artists’ profiles, some of which we capture here in this short film:


However, in the last few years the genre has faced considerable challenges, for instance in 2012 the broadcasting regulator Ofcom made the stark announcement that spending on arts programming by the five main public service broadcasters – including the BBC, ITV and Channel 4 – fell by 39% over the five years to 2011. Therefore, we want to better understand this complex landscape and to document the experiences of those working in this genre as they negotiate these conditions. By doing this we also hope to bring fresh perspectives to the history, economy and aesthetics of the arts on television and radio.


This project includes scholars from Cardiff University and University of the West of England, Bristol. Over the course of this project we intend to use a number of methods to help us achieve our research objectives. These methods include: interviews, historiography, policy research and textual analysis.

Contact us

A key impact of this project will be to bring together different perspectives on arts programming, both historical accounts and contemporary experiences. To that end we would love to hear from those who have or are working in the genre (e.g. television and radio professionals, artists who have appeared or are appearing on television or radio), and those have an interest in the issues discussed above (e.g. arts organisations). Please get in touch using our contact us page.