The government has decided to push ahead with plans to privatise Channel 4.
Ministers have concluded, following a consultation, that while the broadcaster is “currently performing well” its public ownership is “holding it back in the face of a rapidly-changing and competitive media landscape”, a government source said.
A spokesperson for Channel 4 said it was “disappointed” with the decision but would “continue to engage” with the government on the process to “ensure that Channel 4 continues to play its unique part in Britain’s creative ecology and national life.”
Alex Mahon, CEO of Channel 4 has confirmed in an email to staff that the government has confirmed it is it’s intention to privatise the channel. Says ministers have rejected their proposals to keep the station in public ownership.— Lewis Goodall (@lewis_goodall) April 4, 2022
Expectations that Channel 4 is to be privatised have been growing in recent months and the government source said it was now “expected to pursue a sale”.
Keep Channel 4 Public! There is no justification in privatising channel 4
The broadcaster is state-owned but receives no public funding, with more than 90% of its revenue coming from adverts.
The channel is run on a commercial basis and carries adverts but reinvests all of its profits into making new programmes. The channel’s current leadership have argued that a new private sector owner would instead seek to maximise profits at the expense of programming.
Selling channel four saves no taxpayer money, it harms creative diversity and undermines a compition and diversity on from our TV broadcasters. It’s vandalism.
Channel 4 is a British free-to-air public-service television network. Its headquarters are in London, with a national headquarters in Leeds and creative hubs in Glasgow and Bristol.
you can help in trying to stop this rip off of public ownership, a real working model by sighning this petition and presuring the goverment to stop its present course of action. Sign the petiton here… LINK
The channel was established to provide a fourth television service to the United Kingdom in addition to the licence-funded BBC One and BBC Two, and the single commercial broadcasting network ITV.
It began its transmission on 2 November 1982, the day after Welsh language broadcaster S4C’s launch. It is publicly-owned and advertising-funded; originally a subsidiary of the Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA), the station is now owned and operated by Channel Four Television Corporation, a public corporation of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, which was established in 1990 and came into operation in 1993. In 2010, Channel 4 extended service into Wales and became a UK-wide television channel.
Here comes the unbelivable kicker…
The government source said: “C4 is a great business with a strong brand built around it being creative, innovative and distinctive but a change of ownership will remove its straitjacket, giving C4 the freedom to innovate and grow so it can flourish and thrive long into the future and support the whole of the UK creative industries.”
Ministers will seek to reinvest the proceeds of the sale in independent production and on “levelling up wider creative skills in priority parts of the country”.