Thank you for emailing me about Channel 4.
I appreciate your concern with reports about the future of Channel 4. While I completely agree that access to a wide variety of channels for news and entertainment is an important feature of our broadcasting landscape, I also recognise that in recent years that landscape has completely changed.
Channel 4 is entirely commercially funded, but it has been publicly owned since it began broadcasting in 1982. The main reason it was set up as a publicly owned, commercially run station was to provide greater choice. Four decades later, however, the broadcasting landscape is unrecognisable. That is why I believe it is crucial that a future ownership model (whereby Channel 4 keeps its public service remit) is considered to ensure more content, more jobs, and a more sustainable future for the broadcaster.
I warmly welcome that the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has now launched a public consultation on the future ownership of Channel 4 as part of the Government’s review of public service broadcasting. The consultation will consider both the ownership and remit of Channel 4, ensuring its future success and sustainability. For further information on the consultation, which will close on 14 September 2021, and guidance on how to respond, please search: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/consultation-on-a-change-of-ownership-of-channel-4-television-corporation
I have also been assured that the review will come ahead of the broadcasting white paper, due to be published in the autumn. The white paper will consider the future of the country’s broadcasting landscape with the aim of making sure it serves listeners and viewers on all platforms and across the entire UK.
Thank you again for contacting me.