Channel Four: Privatisation

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport written question – answered on 22nd October 2021.

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Photo of Ben Lake Ben Lake Shadow PC Spokesperson (Treasury), Shadow PC Spokesperson (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs), Shadow PC Spokesperson (Education), Shadow PC Spokesperson (Digital, Culture, Media & Sport), Shadow PC Spokesperson (Health and Social Care), Shadow PC Spokesperson (Housing, Communities & Local Government), Shadow PC Spokesperson (The Constitution and Welsh Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment she has made of the potential impact that the privatisation of Channel 4 TV Corporation will have on the Channel's (a) recent steps to establish hubs outside London and (b) ability to commission more from production companies in the nations and regions.

Photo of Julia Lopez Julia Lopez Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office), Minister of State

Channel 4’s network of relationships across the whole of the UK, and its strong representation of the entire nation on screen are attributes to be celebrated and maintained into its future, and that is not at odds with private investment. In fact, Channel 4’s access to networks out of London and its ability to speak to such a diverse range of audiences are likely to be an attractive asset to nurture and develop for any potential buyer. Whatever decision is made about Channel 4’s ownership, we are clear that any changes will not compromise our commitment to the independent production sector or the wider creative economy, including our creative powerhouses across the UK. The government has also been clear that, whatever decision is made about Channel 4, we want it to remain a public service broadcaster, with public service obligations.

Channel 4 is one of this country’s greatest assets but we must think long-term about the challenges ahead and make sure it has the capital it needs to continue to contribute to the UK’s success in public service broadcasting for years to come.

We have consulted on the best ownership model to support this aim, and we are in the process of examining all the evidence we have received.

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