Channel 4 General News UK

Channel 4 boss warns British TV is threatened by US dominance


By John Glenday | Reporter

August 22, 2014 | 2 min read

David Abraham, Channel 4’s chief executive, has warned that the creativity of British broadcasters and producers could be suffocated by a wall of money from across the pond as US tech and media giants snap up swathes of the television sector for profit.

Warning of the growing encroachment of Rupert Murdoch and Virgin Media owner John Malone on home turf as well as an existential threat from behemoths such as Google and Amazon, Abraham claimed only Channel 4 and the BBC remained to fly the flag for Britain.

Speaking at the Edinburgh international television festival Abrahams said: “TV is clearly now a combat vehicle for tech and mobile companies and platforms to compete with each other rather than a sovereign industry in its own right.

“An Apple-Disney merger would substantially dwarf Fox-Warner-Sky. But what duties or obligations will these new global gated communities have towards our industry whose future they increasingly influence?

“"This special landscape of ours did not happen by accident," Abraham said. "So we should not assume that, left purely to the market, it will continue to thrive. If you care about creativity, speak up and speak up now. Stay silent and our special system may wither. Once gone, it will never come back."

In recent years All3Media has been bought out by Discovery and Channel 5 was taken over by Viacom.

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