Channel Four: Young People

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport written question – answered on 13 September 2021.

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Photo of Helen Grant Helen Grant Conservative, Maidstone and The Weald

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps he is taking to ensure that under a potential change in ownership model Channel 4 would maintain its focus on producing content that appeals to young people.

Photo of John Whittingdale John Whittingdale Minister of State

Channel 4’s current remit and obligations are largely based on the key building blocks for public service broadcasting as set out in the 2003 Communications Act, with further changes made in the 2010 Digital Economy Act. The Government has made clear in the consultation that it intends to preserve Channel 4’s PSB remit.

The consultation also makes clear that the Government sees the value delivered to society through the obligations placed on Channel 4 to broadcast content appealing to young and diverse audiences. Indeed, we would expect the channel’s success with younger audiences to be something particularly appealing to potential buyers.

The Government is minded to retain such obligations, though it will be important to ensure its remit does not prohibit Channel 4’s future sustainability and its ability to broadcast relevant and quality content given the developments in the media landscape – with young audiences increasingly likely to consume content on non-linear platforms such as VoD services for example.

We are seeking views on the possible modernisation of Channel 4’s remit and obligations through the consultation.

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