Channel Four Television

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport written question – answered on 4th November 2021.

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Photo of Peter Bottomley Peter Bottomley Father of the House of Commons

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what is her assessment of the impact on the intellectual property of independent producers from a possible sale of Channel 4.

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

Channel 4 has played an important role in supporting independent production in the UK. The sector is now flourishing and increasingly less reliant on income from UK PSBs. Total UK production sector revenues increased by more than 30% over the five years to 2019, reaching £3.3 billion in 2019. The export market for UK content has continued to grow with the sector’s international revenues exceeding £1 billion in 2019, 30% more than the previous year.

Channel 4’s strengths in working with independent producers are precisely the kinds of attributes we would expect to be attractive to a buyer, and that we would expect any buyer to be likely to nurture and develop through new investment.

We have consulted on the best ownership model to support Channel 4 for years to come. Our public consultation closed on 14 September. We are carefully considering the views and evidence we have received to inform the government’s policy-making and final decision.

Whatever decision we make about the future ownership model of Channel 4 will not compromise this government’s commitment to the independent production sector and to the wider creative economy.

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