Channel 4 privatisation to go ahead despite outcry

Greg Davies in Channel 4's Taskmaster

Channel 4 will continue being privatised confirms the Government, despite public outcry.

The government has decided to go ahead with plans to privatise Channel 4 as of 4 April 2022.

It is believed that ministers are criticising the public-owned broadcaster as being held back “in the face of a rapidly changing media landscape.”

Though the public has been vocal in their detest for the privatisation, the plans for the sale will be included as part of Her Majesty’s speech in May.

Channel 4 was created in 1982, under the Conservative Thatcher administration, and was designed to be a representative channel for the everyman. Funded by advertisements, the broadcaster was publicly owned.

The liberal-leaning broadcaster was the first to include swearing, and has recently become synonymous with its forward-aligned sociological programming including Russell T. DaviesIt’s A Sin, Naked Attraction, First Dates, The Circle and Big Brother, though the channel has also recently seen huge success with The Great British Bake Off and Taskmaster after procuring them from the BBC and Dave respectively.

Channel 4 responded to the announcement declaring that they find the decision “disappointing” given the “significant public interest concerns which have been raised.”

It is suggested that money made from the sale will be reinvested into a “creative dividend”, shared amongst the wider TV industry, with some to be put aside for independent production companies.

Conservative minister, and Culture Secretary, Nadine Dorries said: “Channel 4 rightly holds a cherished place in British life and I want that to remain the case.

“I have come to the conclusion that government ownership is holding Channel 4 back from competing against streaming giants like Netflix and Amazon.

“A change of ownership will give Channel 4 the tools and freedom to flourish and thrive as a public service broadcaster long into the future.”

Channel 4 confirmed this in their statement, revealing that despite privatisation, the broadcaster will remain, ” legally committed to its unique public-service remit.

“The focus for the organisation will be on how we can ensure we deliver the remit to both our viewers and the British creative economy across the whole of the UK.”

“The proposal to privatise Channel 4 will require a lengthy legislative process and political debate.

“We will of course continue to engage with the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Government and Parliament, and do everything we can to ensure that Channel 4 continues to play its unique part in Britain’s creative ecology and national life.”

By Conor Riley

Conor is the Founder and Editor for Cinamore, a publication focused on giving power back to journalists. As a portmanteau of the word 'Cinema' and the Italian word for love 'Amore', Cinamore aims to highlight the love that we all carry for the art of the moving image.


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