U.K. to Move Forward with Channel 4 Privatization


The U.K. government is moving forward with the privatization of Channel 4, with proceeds from the sale to be reinvested in the country’s creative sector.

Nadine Dorries, the U.K.’s Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), said on Twitter: “Channel 4 rightly holds a cherished place in British life, and I want that to remain the case. I have come to the conclusion that government ownership is holding Channel 4 back from competing against streaming giants like Netflix and Amazon.”

Dorries maintains that the sale of the British broadcaster would give it “the tools and freedom to flourish and thrive as a public-service broadcaster long into the future.”

The proceeds from the sale would be used for “leveling up the creative sector, putting money into independent production and creative skills in priority parts of the country—delivering a creative dividend for all.”

In a statement, Channel 4 said it was “disappointing that today’s announcement has been made without formally recognizing the significant public interest concerns which have been raised.”

The statement went on to note that DCMS had been presented with an alternative to privatization that would safeguard C4’s future financial stability, “allowing it to do significantly more for the British public, the creative industries and the economy, particularly outside London.

“The proposal to privatize Channel 4 will require a lengthy legislative process and political debate. We will of course continue to engage with DCMS, Government and Parliament, and do everything we can to ensure that Channel 4 continues to play its unique part in Britain’s creative ecology and national life.”