Govt plans to sell UK's Channel 4

Wednesday 11th May 2022 06:50 EDT

Channel 4 was created by Conservative Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's government in the 1980s to deliver an edgy alternative to the BBC and ITV. Its unique model - funded by advertising but owned by the public and with no in-house production - helped establish Britain's independent programme making sector and brought new voices to the screen.

The government announced last month it had decided to sell Channel 4, saying it would struggle to compete against global streamers like Netflix if it remained in public hands and had limited access to capital.

Channel 4, the publicly-owned British broadcaster that the government wants to sell, published its alternative plan to privatisation, including setting up a joint venture that would own the rights to commercialise shows globally.

Chief Executive Alex Mahon said the broadcaster had presented its plan to the government earlier this year, and was making it public to inform debate in parliament, the industry and the wider public. According to her, the private capital will enable the company to grow faster, build scale and compete harder for content.”
Lawmakers across parliament and television grandees oppose a sale, saying it would jeopardise Channel 4's distinctive programming, and the plan faces two years of scrutiny.

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