Government to privatise Channel 4, broadcaster announces

The Government is going ahead with plans to sell Channel 4, the broadcaster has said.

By Caitlin Doherty
Monday, 4th April 2022, 8:22 pm

The network has said it is “disappointed” with the decision, and the sale is expected to open up to bids from next year.

In a statement, the broadcaster, which has its second base in Leeds, said it 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”.

The statement said: “With over 60,000 submissions to the Government’s public consultation, it is disappointing that today’s announcement has been made without formally recognising the significant public interest concerns which have been raised.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The Majestic, the home of Channel 4 in Leeds city centre (Photo: James Hardisty)

“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.”

Channel 4 said they had presented the Government with “a real alternative to privatisation that would safeguard its future financial stability, allowing it to do significantly more for the British public, the creative industries and the economy, particularly outside London.”

“This is particularly important given that the organisation is only two years into a significant commitment to drive up its impact in the UK’s nations and regions,” they added.

“Channel 4 remains 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 DCMS, 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.”