The Independent Television Commission is to ask consumers and broadcasters if terrestrial commercial channels should retain their public service obligations.
The issue is being raised as part of a wide- ranging consultation on the future of public service broadcasting being carried out by the commission over the next month. The aim is to influence Government thinking as it prepares a white paper on communications.
"The ITC needs to assess the importance of Public Service Broadcasting in the commercial sector as well as the BBC – what it has brought to viewers and its relevance to the period ahead," said chief executive Peter Rogers.
Interested parties have until July 14 to submit their views to the ITC.