A review of Channel 4's terms of trade with indie producers would be “almost inevitable” under a joint venture with BBC Worldwide, Ofcom chief executive Ed Richards has admitted.

In an exclusive interview with Broadcast, Richards promised there would be “no rushed responses, no knee-jerk reaction” if the parties came together for a proposed second PSB channel.

“It's almost inevitable that the questions about terms of trade - the relationships between independents and broadcasters - will be raised again,” he said.

Richards' comments come as technology, broadcasting and communications minister Stephen Carter prepares to publish the Digital Britain report on 29 January, in which he is expected to outline more explicitly his tacit approval of revising terms of trade.

C4 executives Kevin Lygo and Julian Bellamy have both publicly declared in the past week that they want to keep the existing terms of trade. C4 group finance director Anne Bulford shares their view, but admitted at the Oxford Media Convention that the broadcaster was increasingly doing deals outside the terms of trade. Rival commercial PSBs, ITV and Five are already lobbying for their own terms of trade to be reviewed.

Richards said a “buoyant, sustained and positive” economy for indies was at the heart of Ofcom's PSB vision.