The government has decided to go ahead with the plan to privatize Channel 4.
The ministers concluded after a consultation that the broadcaster was “currently performing well” while its publicity was “holding it back in the face of a rapidly changing and competitive media landscape”, an official source said.
A Channel 4 spokesman said they were “disappointed” with the decision but would “continue to work with the government” to ensure that Channel 4 continues to play a unique role in Britain’s creative ecology and national life.
Government Has been pushed The idea of privatizing Channel 4 in recent months, and official sources say it is now “expected to sell.”
The broadcaster is state-owned but receives no public funding, with more than 90% of its revenue coming from advertising.
The official source said: “C4 is a great business around which a strong brand has been created. Creative, innovative and unique but the change of ownership will remove its straightjacket, giving C4 the freedom to innovate and grow so that it can thrive and prosper in the long run. The future and the UK as a whole supports the creative industry. “
But Lucy Powell, secretary of Labor’s shadow culture, said: “Selling Channel 4, which doesn’t cost taxpayers a penny, which could be a foreign company, is a cultural vandalism.
According to official sources, the ministers would like to reinvest the sales proceeds on independent production and on “broadening creative skills in the priority areas of the country”.
Channel 4 will be a public service broadcaster and the government will ensure that it continues its “significant social, economic and cultural contribution to the UK” with the promise of prime time news.
The ministers believe that in order to compete with the growing power of US streaming giants like Netflix, there must be more freedom to borrow money or raise private sector capital to be able to invest.
Channel 4 said: “With more than 60,000 public consultations submitted by the government, it is disappointing that today’s announcement does not formally acknowledge the public interest concerns that have been raised.
“The proposal to privatize Channel 4 will require a lengthy legal process and political debate.
“We will definitely be involved with DCMS [department for digital, culture, media and sport]We do everything we can to ensure that Government and Parliament, and Channel 4 continue to play its unique role in Britain’s creative ecology and national life. “