Apr 4, 2022

Channel 4 to be sold off by government for up to £1bn

Channel 4 is to be sold by the government ahead of the next general election after ministers decided privatisation was the best way to "Sustain" the UK's public service broadcasting sector. Government officials said the commercially funded but state-owned broadcaster is expected to be put up for bids by the end of 2023, in a move that could raise more than £1bn. Following a consultation on privatising Channel 4, ministers have decided government ownership is "Holding it back in the face of a rapidly-changing and competitive media landscape", officials said. "Channel 4 has engaged in good faith with the government throughout the consultation process, demonstrating how it can continue to commission much-loved programmes from the independent sector across the UK that represent and celebrate every aspect of British life as well as increase its contribution to society, while maintaining ownership by the public," a spokesperson for the broadcaster said. The so-called publisher-broadcaster model has enabled Channel 4 to deliver its public service remit without having to turn to taxpayer support since it was founded in 1982. Over the weekend, the government announced that Sir Ian Cheshire, currently a non-executive director of telecoms group BT, will take up the role of Channel 4 chair later this month.

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