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Channel 4

Part of Backbench Business – in Westminster Hall at 11:14 am on 19th July 2016.

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Photo of Matthew Hancock Matthew Hancock Minister of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport) (Digital Policy) 11:14 am, 19th July 2016

The viewing figures I set out were a proportion of the market. The hon. Gentleman is right about Channel 4’s current financial status, but it acknowledges the risks because such a high proportion of revenue comes from advertising, which is, as everyone knows, a highly cyclical part of business and there may be shocks to the economy, not least the impact of Brexit, which is as yet impossible fully to ascertain. I take his point, but the matter must be looked at in the round.

I hope I have demonstrated the Government’s commitment to Channel 4 following its rich and proud history, our acknowledgment of and support for its work in promoting a plural and diverse element of our national life, its holding authority to account with rigour and innovation, and my personal commitment to Channel 4 and seeing it thrive sustainably. We will certainly take on board the points that have been raised from both sides of the Chamber. We will consider them over the summer with a mind to ensuring that Channel 4 has a strong and sustainable future. I have no doubt we will have the opportunity to discuss these matters again.

I have been remiss in waiting until the last minute of this debate to welcome to the Front Bench Kelvin Hopkins, who has a long history of involvement in these issues. We will make sure all views are considered and that, as we consider how the remit should be set going forward and how to ensure that Channel 4 is strong and sustainable in future, all voices in the debate are heard.

Question put and agreed to.

Sitting suspended.